Ukraine Really Kicking Russia To Curb Now, Looks Like!
Ukraine is kicking ass. The past week has been like the end of Return of the Jedi. Ukrainians are sending Russia troops fleeing like Stormtroopers who can’t shoot for shit.
Saturday, Russian forces abandoned the key city of Izium just five days after a Ukrainian offensive through the Kharkiv region.
"Russians escaped and left weapons and ammo behind. City center is free," a spokesperson for the Bohun Brigade of the Land Forces of Ukraine said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
The Kyiv Post joked that “Russia has agreed to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine for free ;).”
Izium is near the border between the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions in the east. Russian troops had occupied the area for more than five months, and it had served as a strategic hub for the invading army. But no more — Ukrainian forces rolled through Russian defenses, punching a hole through pitifully guarded Russian front lines east of Kharkiv and cutting off Russian logistic lines. Within 72 hours, Ukrainian forces reportedly recaptured more than 3,000 square kilometers of their homeland.
That is more territory than Russia has captured in all its operations since April.
The Telegraph declared Sunday that “(Vladimir) Putin is finished. Ukrainians have him on the ropes with a stunning victory in their sights.” Reeling from his losses, Putin fired his top army commander Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov just 16 days after he was hired. (We wouldn’t bother looking for this guy on LinkedIn.)
\u201c#Ukraine: The sheer joy of liberation from Putin's terror.\u201d— Igor Sushko (@Igor Sushko) 1662865439
\u201c\ud83d\udcf9 The right to live in your own country is a supreme value. This is why people have tears of joy when they see #Ukrainian soldiers liberating them. \n\nKeep arming #Ukraine and we\u2019ll defeat the enemy.\u201d— KyivPost (@KyivPost) 1662926750
As the Russian retreat continued from once-occupied areas of the border, villages raised the Ukrainian flag with pride and a defiant “fuck you” to Vladimir Putin.
The Ukrainian offensive over the past 72 hours was brilliantly executed, but Russian incompetence also apparently helped carry the day. Throughout much of the Kharkiv region, Russian units “were poorly organized and equipped -- and many offered little resistance.” Their failure against freedom-loving Ukrainians has perhaps shattered Putin’s goal of seizing all of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov conceded Monday that Russia has lost the territory it temporarily stole, but they are no closer to negotiating peace. Russian strikes on civilian power plants resulted in widespread blackouts, a desperate and possibly illegal move that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said was intended “to deprive people of light and heat.”
We’re sure Russia will continue lashing out like a wounded animal, but that doesn’t change a key reality: Ukraine is winning this war. Meanwhile, Americans should never forget the Putin-hugging Republicans who bet against Ukraine. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of the hateful eight who voted against suspending trade negotiations with Russia, a hostile foreign power. She posted on Facebook: "If we truly care about suffering and death on our television screens, we cannot fund more of it by sending money and weaponry to fight a war they cannot possibly win!”
The “suffering and death” wasn’t just on TV like an HGTV home makeover show gone wrong. These were innocent human beings who bravely resisted Putin’s thugs.
Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance didn’t understand why we should care about human suffering at all. He said in February, shortly before Russia’s unprovoked invasion: “I think it’s ridiculous that we are focused on this border in Ukraine. I got to be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or the other.” He tried to backtrack shortly after.
Those J.D. Vance, Sociopath for Senate yard signs sell themselves, don't they.
\u201cTucker: By any actual reality based measure, Vladimir Putin is not losing the war in Ukraine. He is winning the war in Ukraine\u201d— Acyn (@Acyn) 1661818939
He claimed sending aid to Ukraine “hasn’t solved anything.”
"By any actual reality based measure, Vladimir Putin is not losing the war in Ukraine. He is winning the war in Ukraine."
Friday, Carlson interviewed a supposed expert -- surprise, he is exactly the kind of "expert" you'd expect from Carlson -- who insisted the war was “going very, very badly” for the Ukrainians, who were desperate and close to defeat. That’s obviously not what’s happening.
Putin has his own Baghdad Bobs on Republican state media and even within the US Congress. We should continue ignoring them and support our allies.
For more, read Anne Applebaum, whose current column is literally called "It's Time to Prepare for a Ukrainian Victory." That's where we are.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."