“The Russian army made a huge logistical mistake,” wrote US ex-Lieutenant General Mark Hertling on Twitter. “They brought 40,000 soldiers across the Dnipro River to Kherson. As a result, the troops were cut off from each other without the possibility of resupply. The Ukrainians blew up the necessary bridges. And now the Russian troops are surrounded by the Ukrainians on the western side of the river. 10,000 to 25,000 Russian soldiers – or even more – are trapped with no way out.”

Russian soldiers have been fleeing the city of Cherson since Thursday. They would be “chased out,” says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in view of the approaching Ukrainian troops. But apparently from the Russian point of view it is much worse. Hertling is not the only one who believes that the Russians – who actually want to build new defense lines on the east bank of the Dnipro to stop the Ukrainian advance towards Crimea – are trapped.

Reports from Russian soldiers and war observers show that the Russian withdrawal is chaotic. Command structures have collapsed. The Russians are not retreating in an orderly and defensible manner. Instead, as a large cluster, they are an easy target for Ukrainian artillery.

The fugitives have long since come under heavy fire. And like Hertling, many experts write that this could cost the lives of thousands of Russians.

Putin’s troops are faring like the German army in the “Falaise Pocket” in 1944, writes Hertling. “The Russians made a similar mistake as the Germans did back then,” said the ex-lieutenant general. After the Allies had landed, Hitler’s army was planning a counterattack while they were already surrounded by enemy troops. More than 10,000 German soldiers died in the Falaise pocket and many more were taken prisoner. German soldiers were only able to escape because the Allied troops hesitated. “Like the Falaise pocket” – Russians made logistical mistakes at Cherson – now the trap snaps shut

But the Germans had fallen into this trap in the first place because their leadership made bad decisions. Hertling also certifies the Russians. “Your hubris and very bad leadership” brought about this situation, according to the military expert. He himself warned of such a scenario six weeks ago. “Now it’s happening. And that cements the already well-known incompetence of the Russian army.”

According to its own statements, the Ukrainian army advanced more than seven kilometers towards Cherson on Thursday alone. Numerous places were liberated by the counter-offensive. See here how fast the Ukrainian army is now advancing.