New York: Russian troops have surrendered en masse in the face of a rapid Ukrainian counter-attack that is continuing to gain ground, leading some to hope that a turning point in the war has finally been reached, media reports said.
Kiev’s military intelligence said large numbers of Moscow’s soldiers had laid down their weapons rather than fight troops advancing east out of Kharkiv because “they understand the hopelessness of their situation”, Daily Mail reported.
Oleksiy Arestovich, advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said the military has captured so many Russian soldiers over the last several days that it is running out of space to house them – with military intelligence spokesman Andrey Yusov adding that “significant” numbers of Russian officers are among them, Daily Mail reported.
Meanwhile, Russian troops fighting the second counter-attack in the southern Kherson region were said to be negotiating their own surrender having apparently run out of ammunition – though details from the frontline are sparse amid an information blackout imposed by Kiev.
In a late-night address, Zelensky said Ukraine’s armies had captured a total of 2,300 square miles in the east and south since the beginning of September – an area about four times the size of Greater London – as he called on Western allies to supply more weapons to help consolidate the gains.
Zelensky described the strikes as “a sign of the desperation of those who invented this war”.
Russian foreign minister granted visa to attend UNGA
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and members of a Russian delegation have been granted visas to attend the United Nations General Assembly, a Russian news agency reported, citing the foreign ministry.
Russia has for weeks criticized the United States for not granting members of the Russian delegation visas to attend the 77th session of the assembly, which opened in New York on Sep 14.
“Today, visas were given to Lavrov and a number of those who will accompany him,” Interfax quoted the foreign ministry as saying.
Moscow has accused the United States of trying to block Russia’s full participation in the general assembly by delaying the granting of visas for Russians to attend. The forum’s high-level sessions get underway next week.
The Kremlin earlier said the United States was “violating its obligations” by not issuing visas to Russia’s full delegation and said it was taking steps to hold both the U N and the U S to account over the situation.