British intelligence says Russian troops withdrew in ‘panic’ after Ukrainian counteroffensive

Russian rebel observing Ukrainian army positions though firing port at his position near Donetsk, Ukraine

A Russia-backed rebel observing Ukrainian army positions though firing port at his position near Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine. Photo: Mstyslav Chernov. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control of the newly liberated areas of the Kharkov Oblast. Russian forces have largely withdrawn from the area west of the Oskil River. The manner in which Russian forces have withdrawn over the past week has varied. Some units withdrew in relatively good order and under control, while others “fled in panic,” British intelligence says.

The high-value equipment abandoned by retreating Russian forces included capabilities essential to enable Russia’s artillery-centric style of warfare. These included at least one ZOOPARK counterbattery radar and at least one IV14 artillery command and control vehicle. Such neglect highlights the disorganized withdrawal of some Russian units and likely localized failures in command and control.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian government has acknowledged that its recent counteroffensive has slowed down, and that troops are now focused on penetrating into Lugansk. British intelligence assures that part of the Russian troops in the recovered area fled in panic and in a disorganized manner. The Kremlin warns that the latest movements are “the prologue to World War III.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal, of the Republican and Democratic parties, respectively, have introduced a bill Wednesday to designate Russia as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. The bipartisan duo seeks to make Russia the fifth addition to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, joining North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba.

-Thailand News (TN)

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