WHEN Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, it was feared they would move in large numbers. However, the military campaign has failed to deliver the expected results.
Mad Vlad’s once fearful forces could be expelled from Ukraine by the end 2012, after a series of military failures that have left them on edge of total collapse.
9Putin’s military suffered humiliation upon humiliation on and off the battlefieldCredit : AFP
Its army was to defeat Ukraine in just 48 hours. But instead, Putin’s floundering troops have shown a drunken bunch that is incapable of achieving their military goal.
The humiliation is not going away as Putin’s beloved Crimean bridge was attacked, putting morale among troops and citizens to a new low.
RETREAT FROM KHERSON
9 Newlyweds in Ukraine, holding Ukrainian flag, elope as they celebrate the liberation from KhersonCredit : AFP
Putin’s troops were forced to make an embarrassing retreat from the Ukrainian city of Kherson just a month after Moscow had proclaimed it Russia’s administrative centre for the region.
It was the largest region that Vladimir Putin illegally annexed to September.
Russia claimed at the time that the new territories would be Russian “forever”.
The southern city is strategically significant because it provides a gateway into Crimea.
Sergei Shoigu, Putin’s Defence Minister, ordered his troops out the city and across Dnipro River to occupy defensive lines.
It was the result of weeks of advances by Ukrainian forces.
It marks one of Russia’s most significant retreats since the start of the war and a potential turning point in the conflict that has raged since late February.
Telegram user Telegram posted a pro-Kremlin blogger: “Apparently we will abandon the city, regardless of how painful it is to write it now.
“Kherson cannot be held with bare hands,” says simple Kherson.
“Yes, it is a dark page in the history Russian army. Of the Russian state. It is a tragic chapter.”
DISASTER AT CRIMEA BRIDGE
9Putin’s Kerch bridge, which is highly prized, exploded in flames in a bomb attack on SaturdayCredit to Avalon.red
After a huge bomb blast allegedly planted in Ukraine, Putin’s bridge linking Russia and Crimea was left partially collapsed and smoking.
The Kerch bridge exploded in a mystery fireball early on Saturday, killing three people, in what’s being dubbed a speculator blow to Putin war efforts and a serious lapse in Russian intel.
The shock explosion – which comes just a day after Putin’s birthday – blew out a section of a road bridge which runs parallel to an adjacent rail route – collapsing it into the Black Sea.
The bridge being out of action will seriously hit Putin’s supply routes to under-fire troops in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
Ukrainian law enforcement has suggested the attack was carried out by the country’s elite secret service, the SBU, which has refused to comment on the claim, according to local outlet, Pravda.
SINKING OF MOSKVA
9Russia’s flagship Moskva was hit by a barrage Ukrainian missiles. Credit: Rex
Russia’s first-class missile cruiser, Moskva, was taken out by a surprise barrage of Neptune missiles launched from the shore with reports saying 40 sailors were killed and 200 wounded in April.
The ship – which was thought to be untouchable – had played a deadly role in the war by bombarding Ukrainian towns from positions at sea before it was sunk, near Snake Island.
Humiliating footage appeared to show the Moskva, a 611ft tall ship, with smoke pouring out and a rescue boat nearby.
The Moskva had taken on legendary status among Ukraine’s defenders after a band of outgunned border guards said “Russian warship, go f*** yourself!” when it ordered them to surrender.
While the Kremlin has admitted to one death on the Moskva so far, it is believed that many more were killed.
9Two smiling Ukrainian soldiers wave their national flag in LymanCredit Telegram
After being encircled by fierce Ukrainian forces, Russia pulled its struggling soldiers out of the eastern city of Lyman in a huge embarrassment for Moscow – hours after it declared the region was Russian territory “for ever”.
The awkward defeat was amplified by videos of jubilant Ukrainian fighters raising a blue and yellow national flag and performing a victory lance in the strategically-important town.
Russia’s defense ministry tried to claim that its troops had “withdrawn towards more advantageous lines” while they attempt to fend off an erupting Ukrainian counter-offensive.
This is just hours after Putin signed a decree declaring Donetsk, the region where Lyman lies, Russian territory.
After the major new defeat, Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia’s Chechen region, said Moscow should now consider using a low-yield nuclear weapon in Ukraine.
He sent a chilling message saying: “In my opinion, more severe measures should be taken up to the declaration martial law in the border regions and the use low-yield nukes.”
CONVOY OF DEATH TALLED
9 The Russian ‘convoy for death’, a 40km long, was stalled multiple times by ‘logistical challenges’. Credit: EPA
Images showed the famous 40-mile “death convoy” consisting of Russian vehicles that remained stationary near Kyiv for nearly two weeks before being destroyed by Ukrainian artillery.
After coming to a halt on a main highway leading south towards the capital, where it was supposed to lay siege to, the massive column was seen for the first times on February 28.
Instead, Putin’s grand army convoy was struck by breakdowns, fuel shortages, food shortages, as well as supply problems.
It started from Belarus and was traveling south towards Kyiv via Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant.
It is believed that the convoy contains approximately 15,000 troops as well as fuel tankers and ammunition truck drivers.
FEARED CHECHEN CONVOY WIPED IN
9People examine the wreckage of Russian military vehicles in Bucha, near the capital KyivCredit to Reuters
A column of 56 tanks belonging to Chechen special forces was destroyed near Kyiv by a Russian army. This was a devastating setback for Putin during the early days in the war.
According to the Kyiv Independent a top Chechen general Magomed Tashev was killed in the attack. He led the 141 motorized regiments within the Chechnya National Guard.
According to Daily Mail, the men of Chechen leader Kadyrov were reportedly sent to “capture” and kill Ukrainian politicians, including President Zelensky.
The Ukrainian missile fire close to Hostomel, just miles from the killer columns, stopped the convoy dead in their tracks and destroyed it just two days into its mission.
The death toll from the shock attack is believed to be in the hundreds. There has not been an official death toll.
LACK OF AIR SUPERIORITY
9The burning wreckage a Russian aircraft in a field in the Donetsk area, outside Volnovakha
One of the biggest surprises of the war is Russia’s inability to attain air superiority against Ukraine.
Russian plans were blown out of the skies every day by a combination of untrained pilots and poor communication channels and intel.
Photographs from March showed the wreckage of Russian aircraft and the terrified faces of Putin’s pilots, as they were taken into custody by soldiers and civilians following their ejection from their planes.
Online footage shared by the crew showed the men tied up with their hands behind them – some bleeding after their desperate escapes.
According to Kyiv Independent Russia lost 226 fighter planes and 234 military helicopters in Ukraine. This is in addition to the shocking 62,000 troops.
In a series of clips, Russia’s lackluster air superiority is shown online.
Amazing footage captured in April the moment a Russian fighter plane appears to spin towards ground in a death spiral following being hit by a Ukrainian missile.
A similar Russian fighter plane, the Su-35S Flanker-E was also shot down in the Kharkiv area, near Izyum.
Russia was also accused of shooting down a $36m Russian fighter plane on the anniversary the MH-17 flight was lost. This is a major blow to Putin.
THE DEATH OF GENERALS & OFFICERS
9Putin lost his 50th Colonel in Ukraine in June
Meanwhile, a top Russian General was captured by Ukrainian forces in September with dramatic footage showing Colonel General Andrei Sychevoi handcuffed and on his knees alongside several weary Russian troops.
The stony-faced military chief was reportedly snared by Ukrainian fighters during a counteroffensive operation in the Kharkiv region.
Just days earlier, one of the President’s top colonels was killed in a suspected car bomb in Ukraine.
Bardin Artem Igorevich, appointed by the Kremlin to oversee the Ukrainian city of Berdyansk, was reportedly killed in the explosion that sent smoke pouring into the sky.
Putin lost his 50th Ukrainian colonel in June – just one day after the deaths of two of his generals in the same ambush.
Ukraine’s resistance movement has taken out a number of officials in recent weeks, with leading Russian stooges blown up, poisoned and shot, as the net closes on Putin.
It happens as Russian and Ukrainian assassins race for Putin’s death before he escalates their unwinnable war.
Experts claim that Putin faces a double whammy of threats from his inner circle. They are believed to be secretly calling out for his head.