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Ukraine's Lack of Defense Preparations Helps Red Army Advance 20 Miles/Day

The Russian army, after taking dozens of villages and settlements in the Kharkov Region, between May 10-12, had advanced by yesterday to less than 20 km from the outskirts of Ukraine’s 2nd largest city, Kharkiv. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces stated yesterday: “At the moment, the enemy has tactical success” in the fight for Volchansk, where Lyptsi is located, and “the operational situation remains difficult and dynamically changing in the direction of Kharkov.”

The BBC said that the Russian advances have “swallowed up around 100 km (62 miles) of Ukrainian territory” in just three days. They noted that it had taken Russia “months” to achieve the same progress in the “heavily defended east of Ukraine.” By May 12, as reported by the New York Times, Ukrainian troops from the Donbass front had been rushed in to stem the tide. The reinforcements said that they “hadn’t slept in days and were in shock at how fast the Russians were moving.”

CNN’s chief international security correspondent Nick Paton Walsh yesterday described the Russian troop advance as “arguably their fastest advance since the first days of the war. This is a nightmare for Kyiv” as “they liberated this land from Russian forces 18 months ago, yet failed, clearly, to fortify the area enough to prevent Moscow sweeping back with the ease with which they were swept out.”

A local Ukrainian commander, Denis Yaroslavsky, posted on Facebook: “There was no first line of defense. We saw it. The Russians just walked in. They just walked in, without any mined fields. Either it was an act of negligence or corruption. It wasn’t a failure. It was a betrayal.” According to the BBC, Yaroslavsky showed journalists drone footage of a group of Russian soldiers crossing the border into Ukraine’s Kharkov Region without facing any obstacles.

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