This claim is made amid reports of further collapse in morale and worsening discipline among rank and file members of the Kremlin’s invasion force.
Last week, Kyiv officially acknowledged that it had launched the much-anticipated counteroffensive south. Early reports indicated that the Ukrainian army made early advances in many directions toward Kherson.
The city lies on the Black Sea and Dnipro rivers and was captured by the Russians in the early stages of the war. Its defenders fled the area without any resistance.
Officials from Ukraine have lowered expectations for a quick victory and said that the counterattack would take a while. They also urged patience.
#Ukrainian army firing #HIMARS on #Russian positions in #Kherson 🇺🇦 🔊 pic.twitter.com/jh6MRhTmoO https://t.co/pJ2NhVvvJb
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Analysts believe that the current goal is not to capture territory or the port, but to destroy a Russian unit to the north of Kherson located between the Inhulets and Dnipro rivers.
A top Ukrainian official however has stated that Putin’s south-facing army could be at risk of collapse.
Vitalii Kim, head of the Mykolaiv Regional Military Administration claimed that panic was rising among Russian soldiers and that many wanted to flee.
He stated, “The mood among occupiers: Everything has been lost, we are abandoned.
“Nobody wants death, everyone wants to run but they are stopped or forced to stop by some order.”
He said, “That’s why they have the mood that corresponds to the operational situation which is currently on the front.”
This is in the midst of further allegations about deteriorating morale among Putin’s military.
Poor leadership and insufficient logistical support have plagued Russian forces, leaving many soldiers without vital military equipment.
The army’s morale has been severely affected by high casualties. Ukrainian estimates suggest that over 49,000 soldiers were killed in action.
According to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, analysts believe that pay issues are a major issue in Putin’s army.
They highlight in particular delays in receiving bonuses payments due to inefficient bureaucracy and some “outright corrupt amongst commanders”.
In their most recent bulletin, they wrote: “Russian forces continue suffering from morale issues and discipline problems in Ukraine.
“In addition to combat fatigue, high casualties and high combat fatigue, the most common grievances of deployed Russian soldiers are probably their problems with their salaries.
“In Russia, the income of troops consists of a modest core pay, supplemented by a complex array of bonuses and allowances.
“In Ukraine, there have been serious problems with large combat bonuses not being paid.
“This could be due to inefficient military bureaucracy and the unusual legal status for the special army operation’ as well as some corruption amongst commanders.”
Analysts concluded that the Russian military had failed to provide basic entitlements for troops in Ukraine, including uniforms, arms, rations and pay.
“This almost certainly contributed to the fragile morale of many of the force’s members.”
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