Ukraine failed to create defensive lines in Kharkov Region – BBC

“The Russians just walked in” to territory held by Kiev’s troops, a Ukrainian soldier told the broadcaster

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armored personnel carrier. © AFP / Genya Savilov

The Russian military is advancing in Kharkov Region because Ukraine has not been able to build proper defenses in the area, the BBC has reported, citing a Ukrainian soldier.

Russia has made “small but significant” gains in recent days in Kharkov Region, the British news outlet said in an article on Monday. Ukraine appears to be “ill-prepared” for the incursion, despite repeated warnings from domestic and Western intelligence agencies, it stressed.

“There was no first line of defense. We saw it. The Russians just walked in. They just walked in, without any mined fields,” Denis Yaroslavsky, commander of a Ukrainian special reconnaissance unit, told the outlet.

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According to the BBC, Yaroslavsky showed journalists drone footage of a group of Russian soldiers crossing the border into Ukraine’s Kharkov Region without facing any obstacles.

The claims by Ukrainian officials that defenses had been erected along the frontline turned out to be false, he said.

“Either it was an act of negligence or corruption. It wasn’t a failure. It was a betrayal,” Yaroslavsky stated.

Over the past few days, Russia’s Defense Ministry has announced the capture of nine settlements in Kharkov Region. According to a bulletin on Monday, the fighting is now continuing around the villages of Neskuchnoye, Liptsy, and Veseloye, as well as the strategic town of Volchansk.

Kiev’s forces in the region have lost 250 troops, two tanks, two combat vehicles, and 17 other vehicles over the past 24 hours, the ministry said. Nine artillery pieces and missile systems of various types, including a Czech-made Vampire and Croatian-supplied RAK-SA-12 multiple rocket launchers, have also been destroyed by Russian counter-battery fire, it added.

The BBC said the Russian advances have “swallowed up around 100km (62 miles) of Ukrainian territory” in just a couple of days. Previously, it took Russia “months” to achieve the same progress in the “heavily defended east of Ukraine,” it claimed.

Russia takes more settlements in Kharkov Region – MOD

For months, Kharkov Region has been a source of Ukrainian cross-border attacks on Russia’s Belgorod Region. Its proximity has allowed Ukrainian troops to regularly shell the Russian city with multiple rocket launch systems.

In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Moscow could be forced to “create a cordon sanitaire” in Kiev-controlled territories to prevent attacks on the Russian border regions.


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