Russia Withdraws Troops After ‘Heavy Losses’, Showing ‘Inability to Capture Key Ukraine Cities’, UK Says

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Russia’s troop withdrawal from a Ukrainian region they surrounded at the start of the war is showing its “inability to capture key Ukrainian cities”, the UK Ministry of Defense said on Thursday.

In an intelligence update, the ministry said “Ukrainian forces are continue to strike back north of Kharkivrecovering several towns and villages towards the Russian border”.

“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the early stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces after heavy losses,” the ministry continued.

A man drives his car between destroyed Russian combat vehicles in the village of Vilhivka, near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, May 11.
(Reuters/Ricardo Moraes)

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Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, is the country’s second largest city with an estimated population of almost 1.5 million.

Destroyed houses are shown in the village of Vilhivka near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, May 11.

Destroyed houses are shown in the village of Vilhivka near Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, May 11.

“The withdrawal of Russian forces from Kharkiv Oblast is a tacit acknowledgment of Russia’s inability to capture key cities in Ukraine where they expected limited resistance from the population,” it added.

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A damaged Russian tank is seen on a road to kyiv, Ukraine.

A damaged Russian tank is seen on a road to kyiv, Ukraine.
(AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

The Ministry says the withdrawn forces “will likely be deployed on the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, forming a blocking force to protect the western flank of Russia’s main concentration of forces and the main supply routes for operations in the vicinity.” of Izyum”.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has lasted 78 days.

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