An American volunteer fighting with Ukraine’s forces against the Russian invasion has uploaded video of what seems to be an extensive, but uncomfortable-looking Russian camp in woodland at an undisclosed location somewhere in the warzone.
TikTok user tipofthespearRMH said the carefully-constructed camp, with wooden floors and multiple defensive dugouts was deserted before the Ukrainian force arrived.
It shares great similarities with an abandoned Russian camp just north of the capital Kyiv, which had reportedly been occupied by “thousands” of Russian troops.
The Russians had clearly been preparing for an extended stay, but then pulled out, probably in response to new orders from the Kremlin.
The occupiers had apparently left in haste, with clothing, equipment, and even a toy helicopter lying discarded in the camp.
Russian troops pulled back from positions around Kyiv earlier this month, as the failure of Russia’s original “shock and awe” attack cause a hasty rethink among Putin’s commanders.
The Russian army has suffered heavy losses, with some reports saying more than 10,000 men have been killed, and three or four times as many injured and returned to Russia for treatment.
But Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that retreating Russian forces were leaving behind “a complete disaster” by booby-trapping homes and even corpses.
Armed forces minister James Heappey says that thousands more Russian troops are likely to die in Ukraine because of Vladimir Putin's determination to try to secure a win by Russian Victory Day on 9 May so he can have a "nice day in the sun”.
Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Heappey said it was legitimate for British weapons to be used by the Ukrainians to target Russian supply networks across the border in Russia.
Kremlin insiders call Ukraine war a 'catastrophic mistake' in Putin nuke warning
“It's the Ukrainians who take the targeting decision,” he said, “not the people who manufacture or export the kit in the first place.
"And secondly,” Mr Heappey added, “it is entirely legitimate to go after military targets in the depth of your opponent to disrupt their logistics and supply lines.
"Just as to be frank, providing the Russians don't target civilians, which unfortunately they've not taken too much regard for thus far, it is perfectly legitimate for them to be striking targets in western Ukraine to disrupt Ukrainian supply lines. That is very much a part of war."
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Meanwhile, speaking on Russian state television, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that by arming Ukraine, NATO countries were already effectively fighting against Russia.
He warned that any weapons shipments coming from the west are immediately regarded as “legitimate targets” saying that several NATO arms shipments had already been destroyed by Russian attacks.
"How can it be otherwise?”, he said.
“NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.”
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