The escape of the Russian Armed Forces from the Kharkiv region: the commander was promoted to the rank of general "on the offensive", – Reuters |  News of Kharkiv and Ukraine

The escape of the Russian Armed Forces from the Kharkiv region: the commander was promoted to the rank of general “on the offensive”, – Reuters | News of Kharkiv and Ukraine

According to journalists, Colonel Ivan Popov was promoted for the failure of operations in Balaklia. The occupier wanted other soldiers to be awarded medals, but the HIMARS missiles changed his plans.

Russian colonel Ivan Popov, who commanded the occupiers in the city of Balaklia, Kharkiv region, was promoted to general after his resignation. About this it is said in the investigation of the Reuters agency, writes Focus

The authors of the material got acquainted with the documents, officers’ notebooks and diaries, which the invaders left during the retreat in Balaklia. It turned out that Popov and many of his senior officers serve in the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy.

Before the full-scale war in Ukraine, Popov participated in the Chechen wars and the 2008 invasion of Georgia. His wife confirmed to Reuters that he commanded troops in eastern Ukraine. During the retreat of the Russian Armed Forces from the Kharkiv region, he was wounded and spent a month in the hospital.

During his stay in the hospital, he received the rank of general and was about to leave for a new assignment, but where exactly, his wife did not say.

Problems with weapons – why Russian troops left the Kharkiv region

The officers’ records describe how in July the Russian troops near Kharkiv began to face serious challenges. The Ukrainian military moved to the liberation of Hrakow. The commander of the Western Military District ordered not to surrender this settlement.

The Russian Armed Forces lost a tank, 2 armored personnel carriers and other equipment during the operation. Several dozen people were injured, 7 were killed and 17 were missing, according to the report named after Popov dated July 21.

After this operation, Popov appealed to his superiors with a request to award the soldiers with medals for bravery. Two military officials, speaking to Reuters, admitted that they had not received the award.

Journalists learned that until the end of August, Russian troops in the Kharkiv region were experiencing difficulties due to a lack of weapons, and cases of desertion were becoming more frequent.

A few weeks before the retreat, the Russian Armed Forces came under heavy fire from HIMARS missile launchers. High-precision missiles repeatedly hit enemy command posts. One of the officers, who served in the Balaklia forces for 3 months, told Reuters how his friend bled to death in early September after a Ukrainian strike on a command post in a nearby village.

“This is a game of roulette. Either you’re lucky or you’re not. Projectiles can land anywhere,” he said.

The successful attacks of the Armed Forces forced the command in Balaklia to think about increasing the number of troops in the city, but only 71% of the units were manned. In some divisions, this indicator was at the level of 20%. Officers complained about the lack of ammunition and drones.


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