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Ukraine split Russian defenses by tricking them into defending the wrong city

All signs pointed to a Ukrainian counter-offensive at the port city of Kherson. And then...

September 13, 2022 4:10pm

Updated: September 13, 2022 5:11pm

What does Ukraine credit its recent success against Russia to? Drawing on its reserves, keeping morale high over half a year of conflict and, according to a Ukrainian military source, deception.

Ukrainian forces used a number of tactics, some of which could not be disclosed, to trick Russians into believing their impending counter-offensive was targeting the southern port city of Kherson, reports The Times of London.

Moscow sent reinforcements from Kharkiv, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) northeast of the port.

Ukrainian forces then overwhelmed the now-poorly defended Kharkiv and scored key victories over the weekend in what the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, referred to as a “major operational defeat” for Russia.

This aligns with Western media reports in late July that Ukraine was preparing to strike at Kherson, which was seized shortly after the invasion began in February.

Ukrainian skirmishers reportedly broke through the Russian front line there at the end of August, about two weeks ago, but gains in the south have been much smaller than in Kharkiv to the east.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

A senior Pentagon official said Monday that the Russian military had “largely ceded” their gains in the Kharkiv region and that many of its forces had fled back across the border to Russia.

The official also said the way Russian troops hastily abandoned military equipment during their retreat “could be indicative of Russia’s disorganized command and control.”

Military analysts also attributed advanced Western weapons systems, like the HIMARS precision missile system that outranges Russian artillery. The weapons have allowed the Ukrainian army to pound bridges that connect besieged regions to supplies and reinforcements.

Kyiv has requested missiles systems with even longer range than HIMARS as it continues its offensive, reports The Wall Street Journal.