The New York TimesThe New York Times

In reclaimed towns, Ukrainians recount a frantic Russian retreat

By Andrew E. Kramer and Jeffrey Gettleman

14 Sep 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

An NYT report from the villages that have been recaptured by Ukraine. Residents recall how Russian soldiers who fled were lacking in motivation and some were simply scared.

The signs of desperation were everywhere. Abandoned military vehicles. Cans of food and dishes left on tables. Mail scattered on office floors. Clothes left hanging on lines.

This is how the Russian army left the town of Balakliya in northeastern Ukraine, in a sign of a frantic, chaotic withdrawal as the Ukrainian Army closed in during a fast-moving counteroffensive over the last few days. The lightning assaults allowed Ukraine’s military to recapture hundreds of square miles of territory, strategic towns and abandoned weapons.

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