23 June 2022 21: 36

Is there a threat of the capture of Kharkov?

The fate of Kharkov is being decided.

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Is there a threat of the capture of Kharkov?

From the very first day of the war, the second largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv, began to be attacked by Russian troops. Videos and pictures from there still make me shudder.

And although Russia has very little chance of capturing the city, judging by the intensity of shelling, troubled times again await Kharkov.

Approximately such statements began to be voiced by officials the day before, from Mayor Igor Terekhov to President Vladimir Zelensky.

Kharkov appeared in operational reports from the very first days of the war. But Russia's ceremonial assault failed to occupy the city, and the main battles concentrated on the northern approaches.

The picture changed in mid-May, when the Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out their most successful counteroffensive, pushing the Russian military to the state border of Ukraine.

And for the whole of the following month, Kharkov appeared in the reports of the Ukrainian General Staff as a distant suburb of the war, through which something regularly "arrived", but still no one spoke of the threat of hostilities in the city itself. Ground public transport and the metro began to operate there, which from the first days of the war became a bomb shelter for hundreds of Kharkiv residents. Recently, people have begun to return to their homes.

Is there a threat to Kharkov?

However, in recent weeks, the front line from the north has again moved close to the border of the city. Shelling became more frequent not only in Kharkov, but also in the region. And officials spoke about the threat looming over Kharkov.

The official speaker of the Office of the President Alexei Arestovich, declaring the existence of a very real threat to Kharkov. At the same time denying that Russia will be able to take the city under its control.

A couple of days later, Arestovich called on Kharkiv residents to take their children out of the regional center, because the fighting around the first capital and shelling would take a long time.

Oleg Sinegubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, spoke with even less optimism on the same day, saying that the authorities are doing everything possible to be ready for any scenarios. Mayor Igor Terekhov canceled his business trip abroad the day before and stayed in the city. Although I was going to fly to Madrid to meet with architects to discuss options for restoring Kharkov.

The fact that the situation in Kharkov has recently become tense was also announced at the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Spoke and Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs Vadim Denisenko, reporting that the Russian troops are again trying to get closer to the regional center and make it a "front-line city", which will allow it to be constantly shelled.

And finally, Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned Kharkiv the other day.

Considering that Russia still does not conduct mobilization, at least openly, it does not have the resources to objectively conduct an offensive in several directions at once. This shows, among other things, the development of hostilities in the Donbass, where only a few key points for strikes are selected. Therefore, we can say with careful optimism that there is no real threat to the complete capture of Kharkov now.

Shelling of Kharkov continues

But nonetheless. This does not deprive Kharkov and the region of danger from various kinds of strikes, because Russia has moved the front close to the city and this can be seen from the shelling that has become more frequent at times, by which Moscow solves a number of tactical and, possibly, strategic tasks for itself at once.

First, the reserves of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which could take part in the battle for Donbass, are being shackled. Secondly, the front line has been moved away from the Russian border.

In any case, the fate of Kharkiv will be largely decided when the following variables become clear:

- the result of the battle for Donbass;

- preservation of the combat-ready backbone of the Ukrainian army;

- Russia's ability to continue further offensive operations;

- the intentions of the West to continue arming Ukraine;

- "appetites" and intentions of the Kremlin, a clear explanation of why this war was started at all, and what to expect for the people of Ukraine.

And most importantly, the readiness of the parties for peaceful negotiations.

Now we can say with great regret that Kharkov takes the blow, the city is not only fairly destroyed. People are suffering, many of whom have already returned to their homes.

Only on June 20, as a result of shelling by the Russian Federation, 15 residents of Kharkov and the region, including children, were killed. Dozens of victims. The bloody war continues, and we are all in the same boat against a warship.

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