A Russian war correspondent admitted on state TV that Ukraine is winning back Kherson territory

Ukrainian artillerymen fire a 203mm “2s7 Pion” self-propelled gun on Ukraine's Southern Front on September 15, 2022. Photo by IHOR TKACHOV/AFP via Getty Images
A Russian journalist admitted on state television that Ukrainian forces are catching up in the south.
Such confessions are rare in Russian state media, which is dominated by Kremlin propagandists.
US officials say Ukraine has made significant advances in the southern Kherson region.
A prominent Russian journalist made a rare confession on state television, admitting that Ukrainian forces are liberating areas in the southern Kherson region.
"We lost 17 settlements in the Kherson region," war correspondent Alexander Sladkov said, according to a CNN report on Tuesday.
"It doesn't mean we collapsed like a house of cards. These mistakes are not gigantic strategic failures. We're still learning," the report continued. "I know that's hard to hear in our eighth month of special operations. But we are reporters. We're waiting for reinforcements."
The reference to "special operation" is a reference to the term used by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin leadership and state-affiliated media to describe the devastating war in Ukraine.
Sladkov's mention of "reinforcements" is a call to Putin's partial military mobilization, announced last month, which will draw in hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight in Ukraine.
With Putin's crackdown on Russia's free press, the country's state media has been dominated by Kremlin propagandists, who often reflect false and unfounded claims by Putin and his leadership about their military's advances in Ukraine.
The rare admission of backlash on Russian state television comes as Ukrainian troops continue to advance along the eastern and southern fronts of the war.
"Ukrainian forces have continued to make targeted advances in the Kharkiv region and also further south around Kherson," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Laura Cooper said at a briefing on Tuesday. "Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson has made significant progress over the past 24 hours and Ukrainian forces continue to liberate villages as they push forward."
A senior military official told reporters Monday that Ukraine's counter-offensive in the Kherson region appears to have pushed Russian forces into a "defensive crouch."
Meanwhile, the Pentagon on Tuesday announced a new $625 million military aid package for Ukraine that includes four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) -- a much-celebrated rocket artillery system Ukraine has used to attack key Russian positions.
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