Russian Ministry of Defense Claims that Withdrawals are Diversionary Measures

Above: Russian forces withdrawing from Kharkiv Oblast.

Pravda, 11 September 2022: According to the official message of the Russian defense department, for the last three days, an operation was carried out to curtail and organize the transfer of units from Izyum and Balakleya to the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic. To cover the operation, diversion and demonstration activities were carried out, which staged the real actions of the troops. Russian media, however, is openly stating that “the initiative in the Special Military Operation has shifted to Ukraine.”

In the wake of this defeat, the Russian Ministry of Defense has responded with a “body count”, claiming that 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers and foreign volunteers were killed, during the Ukrainian advance, along with 100 tanks. If so, Kyiv and the world would consider it a price worth paying, for recovering more than 1,000 square miles of territory in a week’s time. Total Ukrainian losses in all the current offensives may come to 4,000 men KIA.

Unless the Russian Military either quickly recovers the lost terrain, or makes dramatic gains elsewhere, it will leave pro-Russian residents of the remaining occupied territories wondering if they should invest in Moscow’s promises of peace and stability, under a long-term Russian presence. Anyone living in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhya regions will not be encouraged by reports that the Russians abandoned their Ukrainian collaborators in the Kharkiv region to the enemy.

September and October may yield a bitter harvest for Moscow.

Above: a map of recent Ukrainian gains in the offensive in the Kharkiv Region. The above map however, does not include the capture of Izyum and the surrounding areas, which took place within the last 24 hours.

Blog Editor Patrick Cloutier is the author of Mussolini’s War in the East 1941-1943.

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