Posted For: Willie Wonka
By Eric Mack
In a single week the tables have turned, and once mighty Russia is now on the run with speculation that even Vladimir Putin or the Russia Federation could fall as a result.
Ukraine’s armed forces are making significant gains on the eastern front amid a counteroffensive reportedly buoyed by an influx of intelligence and lethal aid from the United States and NATO.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is pushing for even more U.S. and European Union assistance to help end the war this winter, while Putin is facing significant criticism within Russia as his forces retreat.
“I believe that this winter is a turning point, and it can lead to the rapid de-occupation of Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said Saturday. “If we were a little stronger with weapons, we would de-occupy faster.”
Ukraine’s Defense minister Oleksii Reznikov said the counteroffensive planned this summer is going “better than expected,” like a “snowball rolling down a hill.”
“It’s a sign that Russia can be defeated,” he said.
“Ahead are 90 days that will determine more than 30 years of Ukrainian independence,” he added. “Ninety days that more than all other years will determine the existence of the EU.”
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hailed the resurgence in an added call for more weapons to bring the end of the war closer.
“Weapons, weapons, weapons have been on our agenda since spring,” Kuleba said. “I am grateful to partners who have answered our call: Ukraine’s battlefield successes are our shared ones.
“Prompt supplies bring victory and peace closer.”
Here is a breakdown of Ukrainian gains:
- Ukrainian forces surprised Russia with a northern counteroffensive — pushing deep into the Kharkiv region and advancing to its south and east, Ukraine’s army chief said Sunday. On Saturday Russia abandoned its main bastion in the area.
- The head of Russia’s administration in Kharkiv told residents to evacuate the province and flee to Russia to “save lives,” TASS reported. Witnesses described traffic jams of cars with people leaving Russian-held territory.
- Russian forces have retreated from the city of Izium, an important logistics hub for Russia in the assault on the Donbas region. It has been hailed as Russia’s worst defeat since they were repelled from the capital Kyiv in March, as thousands of Russian soldiers left behind ammunition and equipment as they fled.
- Amid the Russian retreat, Putin was opening Europe’s largest ferris wheel in a Moscow park, while fireworks lit up the sky over Red Square to celebrate the city’s founding in 1147.
- Russian forces are left regrouping elsewhere in Donetsk, according to Russian state-run TASS news agency.
- Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine has regained a village of 4,000 between Kharkiv and Izium: “The great Ukrainian flag has been returned to Chkalovske, and it will be like that everywhere. We will cast out the occupiers from every Ukrainian town and village.”
- Russia’s struggles have Russian nationalists calling for Putin to make immediate changes to ensure ultimate victory in the Ukraine war. The sharp criticism within Russia may signal broader discontent among Russia’s nomenclatura.
- The city of Kupiansk, the sole rail hub supplying Russia’s front line across northeastern Ukraine, was retaken by Ukraine’s forces.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency said a backup power line to the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant had been restored, providing it with the external electricity it needs to cool its reactors and defend against the risk of a meltdown.
Newsmax’s Dick Morris said this weekend the recent developments have put Russia on the verge of a seismic shift against Putin, and perhaps lead to his ouster.
“I think we’re looking at an event of world-shaking magnitude,” Morris told “Saturday Agenda.” “I think it will be very much like the fall of the Berlin Wall in its impact.”
On Sunday retired General Ben Hodges, former commander of the U.S. Army Europe, told London’s Times Radio that the debacle in Ukraine could have grave implications for Russia itself.
“We were not prepared for the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Hodges said. “We need to be prepared for the collapse of Russia.”