The Ukrainian secret service published a phone call between a Russian soldier and his father on Monday. It was intercepted in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, where the Ukrainian armed forces were able to retake large parts in a successful counter-offensive.

“Well, how are you doing?” the father wants to know. “Everything bad, dad…”, the son replies and explains: “We lose. Definitive.”

“I’m telling you seriously. Do you know how many wounded we have?” the soldier continues. “They’re behind us, so there’s nowhere to walk either. They keep on advancing, on and on, on and on…”

And: “They are encircling us right now. We’ve been in full gear for three days, don’t take them off at all.”

He also describes that they wanted to leave. But: “If we take the column away from here, dad, they can take us from there… or just mine the way… that’s why we’re still here.”

The exact time of the conversation was not disclosed. However, it is certain that the Ukrainian armed forces were able to recapture large parts of the Kharkiv region in a counter-offensive. The majority of the Russian soldiers have withdrawn – some in an orderly manner, some in a hurry and in obvious panic, according to the British secret service. Pictures of abandoned tanks, other weapons and ammunition also point to this.

Moscow initially spoke of a strategic “regrouping”. Defeat is now being admitted. The Kremlin is feverishly looking for someone to blame – also to take President Putin out of the firing line.

Note: FOCUS Online translated the call. It cannot be independently verified whether it is actually a Russian soldier and his father. The war is also an information war, in which both sides deliberately provide information to the media and the Internet.