Russians ‘in trouble’ after ‘exposing’ weaknesses, Ukraine victory too early to tell: Expert

Ukraine’s counteroffensive could prove a turning point in the war against Russia as Moscow continues to suffer heavy military casualties, but a Kiev victory may still be uncertain, an expert says.

In recent days, the Ukrainian army has recaptured more than 6,000 square kilometers of occupied territory from the Russian army as part of its counter-offensive, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a speech on Monday. Between September 6 and 11, the Ukrainian army also destroyed over $670 million worth of Russian war equipment and stunned Russian military troops and commanders during the counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast.

“The Russians are in trouble,” a US official told the Washington Post. “The question will be how the Russians will react, but their weaknesses have been exposed and they do not have large manpower or equipment reserves.”

Recent successes have fueled hopes that Ukrainian forces could retake more territory and drive Russia out of Ukraine, ending a war that began in February. However, US and Western officials said it was too early to say whether recent progress points to a victory for Ukraine, according to the report.

“Certainly it is a military setback. I don’t know if I could call it a major strategic loss at this point,” the US official said.

The official’s remarks were echoed by Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States: “The fight that the Russians are waging, of course, when they are not running, is quite big. And above all, they carry out very cowardly attacks on our infrastructure, and we just keep shooting at civilian buildings, places and everywhere. But it’s a great momentum when we show we can win,” Markarova told CNN.

In a recent intelligence update, the British Ministry of Defence said that “Elements of the Russian forces withdrawn from Kharkiv Oblast over the last week came from the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA)”. It added that 1 GTA had been one of the most prestigious armies in Russia and was supposed to counterattack in case of war with NATO.

According to estimates by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Russian army has lost 53,300 soldiers in the war so far.

Russian soldiers guard the destroyed part of the Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in the Ukrainian port city of MariupolOLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images

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