Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with US Secretary of State in Kyiv on September 8, 2022. (Photo: GENYA SAVILOV via Getty Images)
A time lapse video on Twitter emphasises just how effective Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been against Russia – in just eight seconds.
Alongside the video on Twitter, the founder of a market analysis company, Sven Henrich, said: “Looks like Ukraine kicked some butt. Time lapse of Ukraine counter attack in Kharkiv.”
Each frame of the video shows the gradual progress the Ukrainian forces made between August 31 and September 8, before it progresses rapidly, pushing out almost all of the Russian forces in the north-east of Ukraine within days.
Looks like Ukraine kicked some butt.
Time lapse of Ukraine counter attack in Kharkiv pic.twitter.com/HqTPZcZs8w
— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) September 12, 2022
The astonishing success is thought to come down to Ukraine’s mobilisation of its troops and its use of Western support.
Only last Thursday, Ukraine said it had retaken 1,000 sq km – by Sunday, this claim had tripled to 3,000 sq km and by Tuesday it had doubled again.
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed this week that troops have now retaken more than 6,000 sq km (2,317 square miles) from Russian control in these last few days of September alone.
Zelenskyy said: “From the beginning of September until today, our warriors have already liberated more than 6,000 sq km of the territory of Ukraine – in the east and south.
“The movement of our troops continues.”
It’s worth noting that the BBC said it has not been able to verify these numbers, but the UK’s Ministry of Defence said on Monday that Ukraine had taken an area twice the size of Greater London. This works out to roughly 3,138 sq km.
Zelenskyy has mostly remained very tight-lipped over details of the offensive, presumably to prevent Russian forces from guessing where the next attack would come from. He did not explain which cities and villages had been liberated.
Russia has admitted it has lost hold of cities in this part of Ukraine though – and a growing number of pro-war commentators in Russia are starting the blame game over why the invasion is not going to plan.
The Kremlin has described the troops withdrawal as a “regrouping”, as it supposedly aims to move its focus onto the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in Ukraine’s east.
Russia still holds around one fifth of Ukraine, even though there has been more than six months of war and the country expected to seize its European neighbour within days.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also not given any indication that Moscow would be easing up on the war. He insisted the military operations in Ukraine will go on “until all the tasks that were initially set” have been carried out.
But, as the BBC’s international editor Jeremy Bowen pointed out, Ukraine’s success matters, even if doesn’t mean the war is over before the cold season arrives.
“This matters because without proof they can win, they [Ukrainians] fear that the economic costs of supporting Ukraine and opposing Russia might be too much for some of their NATO allies, especially over a long, hard winter,” he said.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.