Proof that Russia is now ‘obviously in a panic’ after Ukraine’s successful counterattack

A daring offensive of the Ukrainian army has taken the nation back key areas from Russian forces – and now, the invaders seem to be in a panic.

Ukraine recently launched a counterattack across the eastern region of Kharkiv, which had been occupied by Russia.

Earlier this month, thirty towns and villages were liberated as Russian forces simply fled without much resistance.

Nikolai Mitrokhin, a Russian expert at Germany’s University of Bremen, told Al Jazeera that Ukraine’s success has stunned experts.

“Within four days, Ukraine negated four months of success of the Russian army that cost them a huge number of casualties,” he said.

Now, this stunning victory appears to have frightened Russia, as Denis Pushlin, the leader of the Russian-backed administration in Donetsk, lobbied for immediate referendums in the region to formally join Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised address to his people that the urgent request proves that the counterattack frightened the invaders.

“Obviously the occupiers are in a panic,” Zelensky said, noting that “speed” is now the top priority in the liberated areas.

The speed with which our forces are moving. Speed ​​in restoring normal life,” he said, noting that he would also call on the international community to help provide more weapons and aid.

Zelensky also said on Sunday that the military was preparing to “liberate more cities” soon.

“It may seem to someone now that after a series of victories we have some calm. But this is not calm. This is the preparation for the next sequence,” said Mr. Zelensky.

Izyum, Palaklia, Kubyansk and the Kharkiv region in general are the cities and communities that we have liberated. You hear these words now. You hear everywhere.”

He added that the liberation of Donetsk, Horlivka and Luhansk is next on the agenda.

However, Serhiy Gaidai, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, confirmed that several areas within the region have already been liberated, including the town of Kremina and the village of Belhorivka.

He said that Ukrainian forces are now preparing to retake the entire Luhansk region.

“There will be a fierce battle for every centimeter of Luhansk land,” Hedayi said on Telegram.

“The removal of the occupation is not far away.”

This comes at a time when the commander of the US Air Force in Europe, General James Hecker, confirmed that Ukraine has managed to shoot down about 55 Russian combat aircraft since the beginning of the war, and that Russia has never succeeded in gaining the upper hand in the air.

According to the British Ministry of Defense, four of these aircraft were “probably” lost over the past 10 days.

Meanwhile, the bodies of two children have been exhumed from a mass grave in Izium, which was discovered in a forest earlier this month.

Investigations are ongoing, but 450 bodies believed to be “tortured” people, including many civilians and “whole families”, have already been found.

Kharkiv Governor Ole Senhopov said bodies were found with hands tied behind their backs, believed to be mostly civilians who bore “signs of violent death”.

However, Russia denied that it was behind these atrocities.

“It is a lie and of course we will defend the truth in this story,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Originally published as ‘Chain of Victories’: Ukraine’s massive counterattack raises fears of Russian authorities

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