NewsUkrainian forces hastily redeploy to defend Kharkiv against Russia

Ukrainian forces hastily redeploy to defend Kharkiv against Russia

Ukrainian troops transferred to Kharkiv. Everything in great haste.
Ukrainian troops transferred to Kharkiv. Everything in great haste.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu

11:41 AM EDT, June 29, 2024

The Armed Forces of Ukraine 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.

As Ukraine awaits the next deliveries of weapons from the West, Russia is trying to stretch the front line to the east as much as possible. Vladimir Putin's army is fiercely attacking the Kharkiv area. In response, the ZSU is moving entire units to the northeastern part of the country, 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 moods, and his thoughts on the prolonged war.

Everything happened in a rush, 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 noted that the situation in Kharkiv is exceptionally difficult. The soldier compared the conditions of his previous mission to those of his current location.

Any movement was immediately covered by artillery or drones. The Russians didn’t seem concerned by our presence there either; we had become a suitcase without a handle. (...) There are also more drones in the sky compared to the east bank of the Dnipro," says Oleksiy.

Another Ukrainian soldier, "Boston," highlights the extreme exhaustion of the ZSU units fighting for over 2 years. He does not believe in the May mobilization 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. 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. says Boston, a flamethrower unit commander who is still fighting on the eastern bank.

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 weakens Ukraine's 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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