Ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele says Putin ‘can’t survive’ defeat in Ukraine as Russian President opens huge ferris wheel in Moscow while his army burns
- Former MI6 spy Christopher Steele says Putin ‘can’t survive’ defeat in Ukraine
- It follows a successful counter-offensive which liberated the city of Balakliia
- Steele says ‘Russian army of undisciplined drunks and thieves’ may be ‘routed’
- ‘Despite Putin’s propaganda machine, he can’t survive defeat in war,’ said Steele
Former MI6 spy Christopher Steele has stated Vladimir Putin ‘can’t survive’ defeat in Ukraine as the Russian president faces mounting tensions at home over his army’s failures.
Yesterday, it was reported that Ukraine had made remarkable advances in a counter-offensive that caught the Russian Army by surprise.
A lightning attack by Ukrainian forces smashed Russian lines last week and punched deep into occupied territory, liberating more than 30 settlements in the Kharkiv region, President Zelensky announced on Friday.
Today, Ukrainian forces are still pushing north in the Kharkiv region, while videos and pictures emerged yesterday showing troops standing victoriously on top of Russian flags in the liberated city of Balakliaa.
In a tweet, former MI6 officer Christopher Steele wrote: ‘The Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv and Kherson has so far exceeded all expectations.
‘If the ragbag Russian army of undisciplined drunks and thieves is routed, as now seems possible, it will be the end for Putin. Despite his propaganda machine, he can’t survive defeat in war.’
Ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele has stated Vladimir Putin ‘can’t survive’ defeat in Ukraine as the Russian president faces mounting tensions at home over his army’s failures
More than six months after Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) launched an invasion of Ukraine, his army is being repelled in the country’s eastern provinces where they had made advances
A Ukrainian soldier takes a selfie as an artillery system fires in the front line in Donetsk region
Ukraine’s chief commander General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said more than 3,000 square km (1,158 square miles) of territory has been regained since the beginning of this month
Ukrainian forces are advancing to the south and east of the country after the swift fall of Russia’s main bastion in the northeast, Ukraine’s army chief said today.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed Russia’s retreat from the city of Izium in the Kharkiv province as a breakthrough in the six-month-old war, saying this winter could bring more rapid gains of territory if Kyiv can get more powerful weapons.
‘In the Kharkiv direction, we began to advance not only to the south and east, but also to the north. There are 50 km to go to the state border (with Russia),’ Ukraine’s chief commander General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Telegram.
He said the country’s armed forces have regained control of more than 3,000 square km (1,158 square miles) since the beginning of this month.
The fall of Izium marked Russian forces’ worst defeat since they were were pushed back from the capital Kyiv in March, as thousands of Russian soldiers left behind ammunition and equipment as they fled.
‘I believe that this winter is a turning point, and it can lead to the rapid de-occupation of Ukraine,’ Zelenskiy said in comments to a political forum published on his website late on Saturday. ‘We see how they are fleeing in some directions. If we were a little stronger with weapons, we would de-occupy faster.’
Ukrainian officials stopped short of confirming they had recaptured Izium, but Zelenskiy’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak posted a photo of troops on its outskirts and tweeted an emoji of grapes. The city’s name means ‘raisin.’
Kyiv-based military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said the gains could pave the way for a further push into Luhansk region, whose capture Russia claimed at the beginning of June.
‘If you look at the map, it is logical to assume that the offensive will develop in the direction of Svatovo – Starobelsk, and Sieverodonetsk – Lysychansk. These are two promising directions,’ he said.
A lightning attack by Ukrainian forces smashed Russian lines and punched deep into occupied territory, liberating more than 30 settlements in the Kharkiv region, President Zelensky announced on Friday
Last week’s initiative caught the Russian lines by surprise at a vulnerable section of their front in an attack that threatens an important supply hub used by occupying Russian forces in the east.
‘Our army, intelligence units and the security services are carrying out active engagements in several operational areas. They are doing so successfully,’ the Ukrainian president said in a video address to the nation.
‘We are gradually taking control over new settlements. We are returning the Ukrainian flag and protection for our citizens everywhere.’ He added that Ukrainians should report any crimes committed by the occupying forces.
Vitaly Ganchev, head of the Russian-backed administration in the Kharkiv region, virtually admitted that large tracts of its frontline had crumbled southeast of Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv.
In light of the huge advances made by Ukrainian forces, CIA Director William Burns condemned Putin’s invasion as ‘already a failure’.
He said the Russian dictator had erred initially in underestimating Ukrainian will and ability to resist his invasion, and he continues to fatally underestimate the resolve of the West to support Kyiv and wage economic war on Russia.
A lightning attack by Ukrainian forces has smashed Russian lines and punched deep into occupied territory, liberating more than 30 settlements in the Kharkiv region
A commanding officer of an anti-air unit of Ukraine’s Armed Forces loads a rocket launcher in his SUV as they prepare to support infantry in liberating Balakliya in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Sept 8
The assault caught the Russian lines by surprise at a vulnerable section of their front in an attack that threatens an important supply hub used by Russian forces in the east
Ukrainian servicemen drive near Bakhmut, as Russia’s attack in Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, September 7
The Ukrainian high command has issued a media blackout and forbidden reporters from visiting the front line during its counteroffensive, leaving it to pro-Russian sources to admit their losses.
‘The enemy is being delayed as much as possible, but several settlements have already come under the control of Ukrainian armed formations,’ Ganchev said on state television.
He had previously said his administration was trying to evacuate civilians from cities including Izium, Russia’s main stronghold and logistics base in the province and one of the grand prizes of the Ukrainian offensive.
Russian military bloggers and other sources have also confirmed that Ukrainian spearhead units have reached as far as the banks of the Oskil river at Senkove, barely five miles from the Luhansk oblast which fell to Russia in July.
There have been unconfirmed reports of fierce fighting around the north of Izium as Ukrainian mechanised troops enter the city.
The surprise assault began with a heavy artillery barrage against Russian lines on Tuesday September 6 in the region of the strategic town of Balakliya. Ukraine said it had mandated to capture the town on Thursday.
‘We do not control Balakliya. Attempts are being made to dislodge the Ukrainian forces, but there are fierce battles, and our troops are being held back on the approaches,’ Ganchev said.
‘Now Russian reserves have been brought there, our troops are fighting back,’ he added.
Footage shows Ukrainian soldiers discovering the burnt out wreckages of enemy tanks.
In one moving video, weeping women – speaking Russian – are seen in footage running to hug Ukrainian troops as they advance through a town. ‘How much we waited for you,’ said one. A soldier answers back: ‘It’s all right.’
A woman says to the Ukrainian liberator: ‘We’ve been so much praying for your return. Thank you for coming back.’
Left: Ukrainian soldiers – reportedly from the Kraken Special Branch – pose in with their weapons in front of a Ukrainian flag, standing or crouching on top of a Russian flag that has been pulled down. Right: A soldier poses on the steps of what appears to be a government building. Holding his weapon on the air, he is beaming from ear-to-ear. At his feet, a Russian tri-colour and red Soviet Union flag both lie in tatters while above him, the yellow and blue of a Ukrainian flag can be seen on the building
The offensive took the defenders – reported to be mostly fighters from DNR puppet state – by surprise, with Ukrainian troops overrunning abandoned Russian camps in which there was still food cooking on the stove.
Ukrainian armoured tank battalions succeeded in punching through the Russian lines and broke out towards the Russian-held town of Kupyansk, a vital transport hub for Russian forces in the Donbas.
Were Izium and Kupyansk to fall to Ukrainian liberators, it would have strategic implications for Russian forces along the entire eastern front.
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