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Russian soldiers surrender in the Kharkiv region, confirming the stalled offensive

Russian soldiers have reportedly surrendered to a Ukrainian combat brigade in the city of Vovchansk in the northern Kharkiv region. A video released by Ukraine's 3rd Assault Brigade appears to show Russian troops emerging from a trench with their hands raised or tied behind their backs. This supports recent claims that scores of Russian soldiers have surrendered in the Vovchansk area, where there has been intense fighting since Russia launched a cross-border offensive into Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, on last month

The captured soldiers were later filmed and interviewed, and many of them claimed that they were forced into the Russian army due to financial or legal problems. Some claimed to have received minimal training before being sent to the front. They also reported limited supplies of food and water, often having to buy supplies with their own money. Almost all of the prisoners claimed that their units had suffered heavy losses during attacks on Ukrainian positions.

A captured soldier recounted an attack on a chemical factory where most of his unit was wiped out by drones. Only seven survived, all of them wounded and later taken prisoner. Another soldier claimed he was the sole survivor of his unit. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the leadership of their officers, claiming they did not participate in the costly assaults.

The video appears to confirm significant Russian losses and surrenders in the region, suggesting that Russia's attempt to open a second front in northern Ukraine has stalled. Last week, a spokesman for the Khortitsiya Regional Command claimed that nearly 60 Russians were captured in a single day of combat. Vovchansk, located three miles from the Russian border, was 70% under Ukrainian control.

In February, roughly 30,000 Russian troops began crossing Ukraine's northern border into the Kharkiv region, creating a new front for Ukraine's already stretched defenses. However, four weeks later, Russian forces have stalled and the offensive has been declared “all but over” by a White House national security communications adviser. Despite this, some experts predict a broader offensive effort by Russia later this summer.

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