Day 10, Phase 3
How Russia Stole Ukraine's Fruit Basket
More than half of Kherson region’s one million residents fled after Russia took full control Ukraine’s “fruit basket” in late February. Officials in Kyiv are reluctant to talk about why and how Russia’s army managed so quickly to capture the region, which is about the size of South Carolina — about 28,000 square kilometers.
Oleksandr — now equipped with a new set of NVGs (are those a pair of ATN PS-31 3s?) — is a volunteer fighter with lots of combat experience. He’s followed by almost 60,000 fans.
Anyway, he said Russian troops were able to advance easily in southern Ukraine, capturing Kherson region and reaching Mariupol quickly, because they weren’t met with much resistance. He said Chonhar was defended by units of the 59th separate motorized infantry brigade and the 137th separate battalion of marines, together with a couple of artillery units attached to Ukraine’s southern military command.
To make a long story short, Ukraine was unprepared to protect its fruit basket.