Ukraine Says Russia Reinforced Troops Along Border To Deter Counterattacks

According to Kyiv, the Russian military has increased its presence along its northern border in case Ukrainian forces launch a counterattack from the city of Kharkov.

“The enemy keeps a number of air defense forces and means in the Belgorod region in full combat readiness,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian army said in a statement today, referring to Russia’s troop surge in the western border region, near the city of Kharkov.

The Ukrainian military sees Russian reinforcements along the northern border as part of an effort to deter Ukrainian counterattacks from the city of Kharkov.

According to the Ukrainian military, Moscow will respond with multiple artillery and rocket attacks from other areas across the border as its units continue to push Russian forces away from Kharkov.

Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkov on May 9th.  Photo: Reuters.

Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkov on May 9th. Picture: Reuters.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Army said on May 9 Russia had carried out cross-border missile strikes on four villages in Sumy, some 175 km northwest of Kharkov.

Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city, is located about 39 km from the border with Russia’s Belgorod region.

Ukrainian officials in the southern Kharkov region said yesterday some Russian units had moved north, possibly to reinforce supply lines from Belgorod. The Russian side did not comment on this information.

Location of the Belgorod region and the city of Kharkov (Kharkiv) in Ukraine.  Graphic: CNN.

Location of the Belgorod region and the city of Kharkov (Kharkiv) in Ukraine. Graphic: CNN.

Last week, a video went viral on Telegram showing Ukrainian forces launching a counterattack to retake the village of Molodova, some 21 kilometers southeast of the Ukraine-Russia border.

After shifting its focus to eastern Ukraine for more than a month, Russia has made some progress, taking control of almost all of the southern port city of Mariupol, stepping up its siege on the northeastern Ukraine city of Severodonetsk, and strengthening its ability to control the southern city of Kherson.

Russia has also stepped up missile attacks on Ukraine’s fuel, ammunition and other critical infrastructure, including rail lines used to transport weapons. The Russian military announced over the weekend an ambush at the location where US and European military equipment is shipped to Ukraine in the northeastern province of Kharkov.

Experts say that both Russia and Ukraine are racing against time to gain as many advantages as possible before Western heavy weapons can reach Ukraine’s front-line troops, which may help turn the situation on the battlefield.

The military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting.  Graphic: Washington Post.

The military situation in Ukraine after 11 weeks of fighting. Graphic: Washington Post.

Ngoc app (Corresponding CNN)