NewsUkraine bolsters troops in Kharkiv amid intensifying Russian assaults

Ukraine bolsters troops in Kharkiv amid intensifying Russian assaults

Ukrainian troops redeployed to Kharkiv. Everything in a great hurry.
Ukrainian troops redeployed to Kharkiv. Everything in a great hurry.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu
Bartłomiej Nowak

29 June 2024 18:19

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (ZSU) are moving troops to Kharkiv. More units, which have been fighting in other parts of the country until now, are being directed to the country's northeastern part. "Everything happened in a hurry and there was no preparation," said a Ukrainian soldier in an interview with the BBC.

While Ukraine is waiting for the next weapons deliveries from the West, Russia is trying to stretch the front line eastwards as much as possible. Vladimir Putin's army is fiercely attacking the Kharkiv area. In response, the ZSU is moving entire units to the country's northeastern part, near Ukraine’s second-largest city.

One of the soldiers suddenly sent to Kharkiv is Oleksiy. BBC journalists asked him about the situation on the front line, the mood, and his thoughts on the prolonged war.

Everything happened in a hurry and there was no preparation.Everyone is here: marines, air assault forces, the State Border Guard Service, regular infantry, territorial defence and national police - said Oleksiy in a phone interview with BBC journalists.

Oleksiy also pointed out that the situation in Kharkiv is exceptionally difficult. The soldier compares his previous mission to the conditions where he is currently located.

- Any movement was immediately covered by artillery or drones. The Russians did not seem bothered by our presence. The Russians didn’t seem concerned by our presence there either; we had become a suitcase without a handle. The troops there can’t leave, and everyone understands that’s useless - says Oleksiy.

Another Ukrainian soldier, "Boston," highlights the extreme exhaustion of the ZSU units fighting for over two years. He does not believe in the May mobilisation law prepared by the Ukrainian government. According to him, the problem is that people are simply scared.

It won’t change anything! People should join the army from 20," he says. "But there is a problem, a lot of men went abroad [to escape the draft]. No-one wants to come back, no-one wants to fight, and no-one wants to die – Boston, a flamethrower unit commander who is still fighting on the eastern bank, says.

Volodymyr Zelensky and his advisors know that the longer the war lasts, the more the Ukrainian people suffer. The President is also aware that a prolonged conflict works against Ukraine in terms of its weakening position in potential peace talks.

The BBC reports that maintaining the front line is now a priority for the President of Ukraine. If his soldiers manage to do that before autumn arrives with its harsher fighting conditions, it will be considered a success. He also claims that there are still plans to conduct a counteroffensive in the future.

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