After having managed to open a first passage, the Ukrainian soldiers found themselves advancing for hours without encountering resistance. The Russians, in fact, were already on the run overwhelmed by panic.
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How did the attack that led the Ukrainians to recapture a large swathe of territory in the Donbass – equal to about 6 thousand square kilometers – taking it from the control of the Russians in a matter of days?
A week later, unpublished details emerge on what – according to everyone – is to date the most significant success of the armed forces in Kiev since 24 February.
Much has been written about “trap“devised by the Ukrainians, who after initiating an offensive in the region of Khersonat the southwestern end of the front, they forced the enemies to move the few reserves they had left to that sector Kharkhiv discovery and decreeing its fall.
Analysts spoke of a textbook maneuver, but according to what was revealed to Fanpage.it by professor Gastone Breccia – military historian and analyst – the success of the Ukrainian operation should be due to a combination of factors: careful preparation of the attack, of course, but also the hasty and unexpected escape of Russian soldiers.
The opening of the breach 3 kilometers wide and 10 meters deep
Quoting one authoritative and confidential military Source, Breccia explains to Fanpage.it: “The Ukrainians organized an offensive in the Kherson area to move the Russian reserves there. Then they attempted an advance in the Kharkhiv area, first conducting tests to verify the strength of the Russian front” . The armed forces of Kiev have concentrated a series of attacks with Himars on sensitive targets and Russian artillery pieces concentrated on an area three kilometers wide and ten deep. A very limited area, therefore, which should have served to “test” the enemy estate.CopyAMP code.
“The Ukrainians – explains Professor Breccia – employed a total of two battalions (1,800 men), about thirty tanks and about sixty armored infantry fighting vehicles. After bombing with the Himars, they advanced with virtually no resistance. The Russians were overwhelmed by panic. They could have tried to oppose, counting on a reserve of 4,000 men. Instead the front collapsed. Evidently the morale of the troops was on the ground, and this is probably the most relevant data “.
The immediate surrender of the Russian soldiers
The Ukrainian armed forces initially made a rather limited breakthrough; there was no there in their initial plans liberation of Izium, an important strategic city, but a simple test of the enemy’s estate. “However, after having managed to open a first passage, the soldiers found themselves advancing for hours without encountering resistance. At that point they collected other troops from the rear using even policemen, firefighters and reservists. It was only at that moment that senior Ukrainian officials realized they could organize a larger strategic maneuver, forcing the Russians to abandon the entire territory of the province of Kharkhiv “.
According to Professor Breccia, a domino effect with disastrous consequences would have been created among the Russian soldiers. “The first units were overwhelmed by fear. They were mostly men of the Lugansk People’s Republic, less trained and prepared than their Russian allies. The command of the sector was not able to plug the flaw in a timely manner, also because the Ukrainians have become very adept at operating in depth. They launched choice light infantry mounted on SUVs and armed civilian cars, vehicles that spread among the Russians creating further confusion and panic. Within 48 hours the Russians had fled, without coordination, without orders and without commands to rise to the occasion “.
For Putin, the defeat of Kharkhiv was a Caporetto
The defeat of Kharkhiv has already been compared by historians to the Caporetto route, which led to the most serious defeat in the history of the Italian army during the First World War, decreeing the collapse of entire corps and the retreat of the army to the Piave river. Will it be the same for the Moscow forces? “For the Russians it was a hard blow – explains Breccia -. The defeat forced them to abandon any future ambition to conquer the Donbass. However, what happened will not necessarily be decisive in the general economy of the war. What is certain is that the events in Kharkhiv brought to light the weakness of the Russian armed forces. Having such unmotivated soldiers is a very serious wake-up call for Putin.