Rattled Russians ran away “like Olympic sprinters” as Ukraine recaptured an area three times the size of Wales.
Vladimir Putin’s invaders are surrendering en masse as “they understand the hopelessness of their situation”, according to Ukrainian military intelligence chiefs.
Russian troops left in such a hurry meals were set out in canteens and loaded weapons abandoned.
READ MORE: Russia loses nearly £1bn of military gear in Ukraine's three-week offensive
One Ukrainian commander said: “We hoped for success but didn’t expect such cowardly behaviour.
“They abandoned their tanks and equipment – even grabbed bicycles to escape. They fled like Olympic sprinters.’’
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s forces have recaptured 2,300 square miles in the past fortnight.
Russia has lost 53,000 soldiers since the invasion – the majority in the past 24 hours, according to Ukraine's Ministry of Defence.
One US official said: “The Russians are in trouble. Their weaknesses have been exposed and they don’t have great manpower reserves or equipment reserves.”
Ukraine's actions have been deemed "the greatest counteroffensive since World War II".
During the counterattack soldiers attacked Kherson in the south, before a second offensive was launched in the northern Kharkiv region, leading to the Kremlin organising a massive withdrawal.
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Volodymyr Zelensky said his troops have now retaken more than 6,000sqkm (2,317sqmi) this month.
Currently, Russia now only controls a small part of the Kharkiv region.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's today show, Justin Bronk of the Royal United Services Institute said: "This is certainly the most dramatic reverse we've seen for the Russians since they retreated from the advance on Kyiv in April."
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