Putin accidentally becomes most generous donor of weapons to Ukraine

Ukraine's war effort against Vladimir Putin has received a shot in the arm thanks to their largest weapons donors, the Russians.

A stunning counteroffensive in the south and east by Ukraine has seen Kharkiv liberated and troops break through front lines in the Donbas.

As a result of these sweeping moves Russian soldiers have been abandoning valuable military equipment en masse as they are pegged back.

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Several settlements were recaptured as Ukrainian troops advanced towards the southern city of Kherson in a success that threatens to cut off Russian supply lines.

An impassioned President Zelenskyy vowed to take back all Ukrainian territory still occupied by Russian forces – he said he did not know when this would happen but insisted that "truth is on our side".

A hasty Russian retreat resulted in huge amounts of abandoned military equipment falling into Ukrainian hands.

In a humiliating twist, the amount of weapons left to the Ukrainians by fleeing Russian troops now exceeds the amount donated by the West.

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This includes 421 Russian tanks, compared with 320 from the West; 445 infantry fighting vehicles, compared with 210 from the West; 192 armoured fighting vehicles, compared with 40 from the West; and 44 MLRS against 70 from the West.

Professor Michael Clarke, former director of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told Express.co.uk: "The numbers are a dramatic illustration of something that has been going on from the beginning of this war.

"Between 30 and 40 percent of all Russian equipment lost in the war since Feb 24th (more than 6,500 significant items at the most conservative estimate) has been 'captured or abandoned'.

"One might expect that to be the case in a force retreating, but not in a force attacking, as the Russians were until the end of July.

"That shows how poor Russian army morale and fighting skills really are – abandoning their vehicles and weapons very quickly when the fighting starts, even when they were supposed to be going forward and at speed.

"Now that the Russians are the ones retreating, even more equipment is being abandoned."

The amount of equipment seized by Zelensky's troops has increased in recent weeks following a blisteringly fast counteroffensive in the east and south.

Moscow has already lost territory in two of the four areas of Ukraine which it illegally annexed in the wake of widely denounced referendums.

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, noted that “disorganised Russian forces (were) caught in the rapid Ukrainian advance.”

Amid the abandoned equipment, Ukrainian forces found one of Russia's most advanced tanks in "perfect condition".


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