Russian soldiers appear to be captured by Ukrainian forces
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Enemy tanks were streaming into Koriukovka, a town in northern Ukraine close to the border. But locals said they were forced to turn back as dozens of unarmed men swarmed the Russian crew. One local said: “The tank has stopped. Looks like it’ll be turning round.” This comes amid speculation the Russian President’s plans to capture Ukraine quickly appear to be going awry.
So far, Russian troops have failed to capture Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
They have also failed to establish air superiority with Ukrainian drones and fighter jets still flying.
A senior US Pentagon official told The Daily Telegraph: “Ukrainian air missile defence systems are still working though they were degraded by strikes.
“They still have air missile defence capability, including aircraft, not just missile defence, but they also have aircraft in the air that continue to engage and deny air access to Russian aircraft.”
This is despite Russia launching the war on Thursday with a tactical bombardment of airfields and military sites, in an effort to disarm the Ukrainian air force and destroy mobile surface-to-air S300 missiles.
So far, Ukraine has claimed to have destroyed 27 aircraft and 27 helicopters throughout the war.
The fallen aircraft reportedly include two large Ilyushin Il-76 transport planes, one of which contained up to 100 Russian paratroopers.
Lawrence Freedman, emeritus professor of war studies at King’s College London, said Putin’s “hurry” to finish the war may have caused many of the Russian army’s errors.
He said: “The hurry to get the war over with explains many of the mistakes made by Russian forces.
“The first mistake was not to make it a priority to take out the Ukrainian air force and air defences.
“These are still operating and the skies over Ukraine can be dangerous for Russian aircraft.”
The Russian attack on Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, has also so far been unsuccessful.
The attack, which began on Sunday, appeared to have been derailed by the afternoon.
Oleh Synyehubov, the city’s governor, posted on Facebook saying: “Control over Kharkiv is completely ours!
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“A complete cleansing of the city from the enemy is happening.
“The Russian enemy is absolutely demoralised.”
Meanwhile, in an analysis on Twitter, Russian defence expert Rob Lee wrote: “Today may have been the worst day for the Russian military in Ukraine so far.
“They are still advancing, but there were a number of videos of destroyed or abandoned equipment and units.
“I have no idea why they sent in a small Spetsnaz unit into Kharkiv, but it was easily repelled.”
Speaking on Radio 4, General David Petraeus, a former director of the CIA, said invading a country without the support of the local population “is chilling”.
He said: “It’s pretty clear that their capability in deploying large conventional forces are underwhelming.
“It makes my blood go cold to think of invading a country where everyone hates you and almost all the adults are willing to fight you with whatever it is they have.
“What this means is that nothing is secure, your lines of communication are going to be cut repeatedly, the trucks moving ammo, food, water, everything that an army needs, these are going to be attacked.”
He added: “As someone who did invade a country, the idea of everyone opposing you especially when you get into the cities, which are so tight and so difficult, again it is chilling just to think about that.”
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