When the world looks back at the war in Ukraine, the overwhelming impression that we take away from it will be that Russia’s military might was never real. Vladimir Putin simply exploited a wave of Soviet-inspired Hollywood fantasy to make his army appear as powerful as anyone in the world, and we all fell for it.
Now, 9 months into an invasion that the Kremlin thought would take less than a week, and retreating Russian soldiers don’t even have the wherewithal to set up their own evacuation corridors upon their exit.
Russian forces’ imminent withdrawal from the west bank of the Dnipro River that separates the Kherson region is already ripe for intensified attacks with Ukraine reporting that it is destroying Russian units in the area.
Russia reportedly didn’t ask the Ukrainian side to create a “green corridor,” or safe route, to withdraw its troops from Kherson, according to a Ukrainian defense official quoted by the Ukrinform news agency.
Sergei Khlan, a member of the Kherson Regional Council, said on Facebook Thursday that the Russians were moving their equipment to the left bank of the Dnipro River, and Ukraine’s forces were destroying it.
Ukraine’s forces had previously suggested that they would not be taking Russia’s announced retreat at face value, wondering aloud if this was some sort of tactical trap.
Russia held a sham annexation of Kherson just weeks ago, but their lackluster military prowess has made it impossible to enforce.