- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Ukrainian Troops Caught In Endless ‘Mini-Pockets’ Around Kharkov – PoW

© Sputnik / RIA Novosti / Go to the mediabankAn Uragan 9K57 multiple rocket launcher fires in the Kharkov direction during the special military operation
An Uragan 9K57 multiple rocket launcher fires in the Kharkov direction during the special military operation - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.06.2024
In military slang, a pocket is a situation in which enemy forces encircle and isolate troops from their comrades, cutting off their supplies and reinforcements.
Ukrainian Army detachments have been caught in numerous “mini-pockets” around Kharkov during the Russian offensive this spring, former Ukrainian soldier and current PoW Kirill Docenko has said.

“Everyone knew what was going on. We saw your [Russian] equipment, saw your troops. However, there was no counter-battery fire on our behalf, no support from heavy military equipment. We just sat and waited until the moment when your army approached our positions. The battle broke out and that’s it," Docenko explained.

He added that Ukrainian troops ignored orders to establish perimeter defenses and started to retreat, being caught in the “mini-pockets” by the Russian army.

“Those who could – retreated, fled. All gathered at one point. Platoon strong points, company strong points – all done in order to establish at least some kind of defense using large numbers of servicemen. However, this all was done wrong, that you are just being encircled, end of story. And you will not break out. No one will approach you, you won’t flee," the PoW said.

Docenko was wounded and his peers used a pit as a shelter against shelling. They reported the situation and their officers ordered them to hold positions despite all odds. There was shooting nearby and they heard pleas for help on the radio frequency from other Ukrainian soldiers who were encircled in the very same manner.
Soon his walkie-talkie went silent and Docenko blacked out. He spent up to five days in the pit that was earlier used by the Ukrainian Army for organic waste. When he regained consciousness, he was already behind Russian lines. He realized that fact because Ukrainian artillery was shelling the location where he was hiding – their old positions with their wounded peers left.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky wipes his eye during a press conference with Finland's President Alexander Stubb, in Kiev, Ukraine - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.06.2024
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“My walkie-talkie was blocked or reprogrammed to cut it from [Ukrainian] radio frequencies. These were our old positions however it seemed that your [Russian] army already seized them since our artillery was shelling the location. At first, there was a drone flying and there were several close hits, I even saw shards falling behind me," Docenko explained.

Earlier, Sputnik published an interview with another Ukrainian soldier who chose life over death and surrendered to the Russian Armed Forces. He admitted that the Ukrainian top brass does not care about the lives of their people, instead sending troops to a guaranteed death - and thanked Russian soldiers for their respectful treatment.
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