New maps have shown how much territory the Russian army has lost in Ukraine in the past few days as the nation faces criticism from fforeign intelligence agencies for underestimating the resistance they would face from Ukrainians.
Nathan Ruser, a researcher for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), an independent non-partisan think tank, shared multiple maps on his Twitter page on Tuesday showing some changes in Ukraine in terms of territory control.
“Putin’s war — The May 10th Map briefing, relatively few changes,” he said in a tweet alongside the pictures. “Ukrainian troops advanced into five abandoned villages near Kharkiv. Russian troops captured the town of Velkya Komyhuvakha near Izyum. Clean-up ops continue on the company of Russian troops that cross the Donets.”
The maps indicate that the blue areas are under the control of Ukraine and the red areas are in control by Russian forces. Newsweek has not been able to independently confirm the veracity of the maps, however.
Earlier this week, other maps were shared on social media that claimed that Russian forces have been retreating from Kharkiv. This is while Ukrainian armed forces make significant advances north and northwest of the city, as shown in unverified maps tracking the invasion.
@War_Mapper, a Twitter account that has been mapping the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February 24 using drone and satellite images of Ukraine, reported on Tuesday that Ukraine launched two offensives near Kharkiv, where Ukrainian troops took the settlements of Slobozhanske, Borshchova, Rus’ki Tyshky and Cherkas’ki north of the city, and Bairak, Rubizhne, Verkhnii, Saltiv and Zamilivka northwest of Kharkiv.
“Russia’s underestimation of Ukrainian resistance and its ‘best case scenario’ planning have led to demonstrable operational failings,” the Twitter post said. “Russia’s invasion plan is highly likely to have been based on the mistaken assumption that it would encounter limited resistance and would be able to encircle and bypass population centres rapidly.”
The assumption that Russian forces would be met with little resistance reportedly led the nation to carry out the opening phase of the invasion with a “light, precise” approach meant to achieve a quick win without a significant loss. But when a timely victory did not occur, the Kremlin changed its goals to a reduced operational focus, British intelligence wrote.
Newsweek reached out to Russia’s Ministry of Defense and Ukraine’s Armed Forces for comment.