KIEV — Russia has raised 100,000 troops and is attempting to break through Kiev’s defenses in the Kharkiv region, according to the Ukrainian military.
With Ukraine concentrating its counteroffensive efforts on the southern front, Moscow’s forces have probed Kyiv’s defenses to the east, in the direction of Kupiansk, Eastern Ukrainian army command spokesman Serhiy Cherevatyi said. during a national telethon Monday.
According to Cherevatyi, Russia has gathered some 100,000 troops, 900 tanks and 555 artillery systems in the area.
“They are concentrating everything to break through our defence. Our soldiers are firmly on the defensive. They don’t let the enemy take the initiative, » Cherevatyi said.
Kupiansk, a city in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, was a crucial logistics hub and supply route for Russia’s invading forces in the east until Kyiv retook it during its counter-offensive last fall.
The commander of the land forces of the Ukrainian army, General Oleksandr Syrsky confirmed Russia has concentrated its forces to attack in the direction of Kupiansk, but has so far failed to break through.
Syrsky commands Ukraine’s operations around the key Bakhmut battlefield, where Kiev has managed to seize the initiative and retake the high ground around the shattered city after Russia occupied it earlier this year.
Russia also recently strengthened its positions around Bakhmut with additional forces, Syrsky said, and Moscow is looking to break through to the Kharkiv region as President Vladimir Putin wants a big victory.
Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Hanna Maliar supported this point of view, said: « As soon as we take the operational initiative and start advancing, the enemy immediately activates in further directions to distract and draw our forces there. »