Russia & Former Soviet Union

Kiev sends reserves to Kharkov

Russian forces have continued to gain ground near Ukraine’s second-largest city

FILE PHOTO. Ukrainian soldiers © Getty Images / Diego Herrera Carcedo;  Anadolu

The Ukrainian Army has announced the deployment of additional reserve units to Kharkov, where Russian forces are closing on the city located in the northeastern part of the country.

On Monday, its Department of Strategic Communications (StratCom) revealed on Telegram that the move is intended to strengthen Ukrainian defenses in the area, adding that the buildup of forces would continue “depending on the development of the situation.”

The department noted that Russian forces were continuing to gain ground in the Kharkov direction and have managed to dislodge Ukrainian troops from several key areas. This was also confirmed by the army’s general staff on Monday, which admitted that Russia has had “tactical success” in its recent offensive push.

Meanwhile, other media reports have suggested that Kiev is also relocating some of its forces from other regions to the area as Russia pushes closer to the second-largest city in Ukraine.

According to Bloomberg, Kiev has started to deploy more troops to stabilize the northeastern front line, noting that Russia’s offensive has likely stretched Ukraine’s already “outgunned and out-manned forces,” and could push Kiev to also redeploy troops from the eastern front.

READ MORE: Russia goes on the offensive: Here’s what’s behind the advance in Ukraine’s Kharkov Region

TASS news agency has also reported, citing a source within the Russian military, that a number of Ukrainian units from the Krasnoarmeysk area in the Donetsk People’s Republic appear to have been transferred north to Kharkov.

Similar reports were published on Sunday claiming that Kiev had been redeploying its reserves from Russia’s Konstantinovka region to the northern front line.

According to statements by Russia’s Defense Ministry and reports on the ground, its forces have secured several villages in Kharkov Region since last Friday, and have made advancements near the settlements of Volchansk, Neskuchnoye, Liptsi, and Vesyoloe.

As noted by the New York Times on Sunday, the capture of Kharkov could “demoralize Ukrainians and its allies,” and “give the impression that after two years and hundreds of thousands of casualties and billions of dollars, little has changed” in the conflict, forcing Kiev to “negotiate a truce with Russia.”

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