Russia sends reinforcements to Kharkiv as Ukrainians advance

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Russia is reinforcing military units in combat in Kharkiv as it struggles to contain a Ukrainian advance that has driven Kyiv troops to the border of two key cities in the region.

Ukrainian forces reached the western outskirts of Kupiansk and also attacked south towards Izium after advancing more than 50 kilometers into Russian-held territory since earlier this week.

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The lightning advance set the stage for what appears to be an imminent showdown over the two key areas seen as strategically important by both sides. Russia is currently using Kupiansk as a rail hub to resupply its forces and Izium as a launch pad for attacks south into the Donetsk region.

Video footage taken by Russian military journalist Yevgeniy Poddubny shows Russian helicopters arriving in the region and at least one unloading an armored vehicle.

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Poddubny reported that Russian military headquarters was using Mi-26 helicopters to reinforce units in Kharkiv with men and armored vehicles, redeploying reserve troops to Kupiansk and Izium.

“Helicopters are dropping at landing points along the line of contact… The reinforcements will help stop any further advance by the Kyiv regime,” Poddubny said.

In a later report, he said that Kupiansk was under artillery fire by the Ukrainian armed forces and that a bridge over the Oskil River in the city had been seriously damaged.

“Our reserves are coming to the front lines,” Poddubny said. “Kupiansk defense continues.”

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his troops “liberated and took control of more than 30 settlements in the Kharkiv region”.

“Measures to verify and protect the territory in some villages in the region are underway, we are gradually taking control of new settlements – we are returning the Ukrainian flag and protection to all our people everywhere,” Zelensky said in his statement. daily speech.

scenes of destruction

Ukrainian troops advancing have reported scenes of destruction as they retake areas from Russian control.

The head of the military administration of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov, said he visited recently liberated areas where the Russians “left infrastructure and broken houses, many trophies and piles of rubbish”, and posted photos of the scenes on Telegram.

“The people, without exaggeration, found our soldiers with tears in their eyes,” Syniehubov said.

“The residents, of course, need help. Most villages do not have electricity or gas. In the near future, we will restore them and bring in humanitarian aid.”

He said the head of a liberated village was detained on suspicion of collaborating with the Russian occupation forces and warned any other collaborators that “no traitor will escape responsibility”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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