• Dozens of Russian soldiers have surrendered in Vovchansk in recent weeks, Ukraine claims.
  • A video released by Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade appeared to show Russian POWs.
  • The Russians reported major losses, poor conditions, and lack of support from senior officers.

Russian soldiers have been surrendering to an elite Ukrainian combat brigade in the northern town of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region, reports say.

A video released on Wednesday by Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade appears to show Russian troops emerging from a trench with their hands raised above their head or tied behind their backs.

The video appeared to confirm recent reports that dozens of Russian soldiers had been surrendering around Vovchansk, where heavy fighting has raged since Moscow launched a cross-border offensive towards Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, last month.

The POWs were later filmed and interviewed, sitting in what appeared to be a school classroom.

Business Insider could not independently verify the video.

Several of the captured soldiers said they had been forced into the Russian army due to financial or legal trouble. Some said they had received as little as one week of training before being sent to the front.

Food and water were limited, and often, they had to buy supplies with their own money.

Almost all the prisoners said their units had suffered severe losses during attacks against Ukrainian positions.

“We received an order to attack positions inside a chemical factory. I don’t know, maybe there were 70 of us. We drove there at night,” one POW said.

“The drones came out of nowhere and wiped almost everyone out. Most of us were hit. Only seven of us survived and we were wounded. Then we were taken prisoner,” he said.

Another soldier said he had been taken prisoner after being the “only survivor” in his unit.

Many complained about the leadership of their officers, who, they said, did not participate in the costly assaults.

Russian troops that Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade say they captured in recent fighting. Foto: Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade

The video appeared to confirm major Russian losses and surrenders in the region, revealing that Russia’s attempt to open a second front in Ukraine’s north has stalled.

Last week, Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson for the Khortitsiya Regional Command, which is responsible for ground operations in the area, claimed that “close to 60 Russians” were captured in a single day of combat.

Vovchansk, three miles from the Russian border, was 70% under Ukrainian control, Voloshyn said.

An earlier video published on June 6 by Ukraine’s 36th Marine Brigade, appeared to show two Russian soldiers, both wounded, being captured during a Ukrainian counterattack in Vovchansk.

In May, Russia stepped up its attacks in the Kharkiv region, opening up a new front in the northeast for Ukraine’s already-stretched defenses.

Yet Ukraine managed to stall Russia’s advance, and the White House national security communications advisor, John Kirby, recently declared the offensive “all but over.”

The Institute for the Study of War said that Putin may have rushed the offensive in an attempt to get ahead of incoming Western aid — fielding “an understrength force” in the process.

RAND geopolitical strategist Ann Marie Dailey previously told BI that Putin likely never had the means to capture Kharkiv city but hoped to create a buffer zone to shield the border region of Belgorod from Ukrainian attacks.

Nonetheless, Dailey told BI: “I think that there’s a broader offensive effort that you’ll see from Russia later in this summer.”

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