Hundreds of vehicles in eastern Ukraine
What is the purpose of the Russian convoy near Kharkiv?
Satellite images show a new Russian convoy east of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. It could be part of the preparations for a major attack in eastern Ukraine. There are other clues for this.
A new Russian military convoy has been spotted in eastern Ukraine and may be part of new attack preparations. As reported by several media, it is about 13 kilometers long and was last recorded by satellites east of Kharkiv, in the town of Welyky Burluk. According to the New York Times, the convoy is made up of several hundred military vehicles. Accordingly, he heads south to Izyum, a city in Kharkiv Oblast. There, the fighting had recently intensified.
Oleg Synegubov, head of the Kharkiv region’s military administration, also describes the city of Izyum as the “hottest spot” in the northeastern province. In an interview with CNN, Synegubov said a “large enemy military convoy heading towards Izyum was destroyed by Ukrainian forces”, but gave no further details. This information has not yet been independently verified.
As the US news agency UPI reports online, Russian forces captured Izyum last week. The city is strategically important, the US Department of Defense said on Friday. Russian forces would need the city to reach the west. The Pentagon said it was monitoring troop movements south of Izyum. There is Kramatorsk, Donetsk and 300 kilometers away Mariupol on the Black Sea coast. However, it is still unclear exactly where the Russian troops are moving.
After the withdrawal of Russian units from the area around kyiv and other cities in the north of the country, the Russians are now expected to intensify their attacks in Donbass, eastern Ukraine. Russia is said to have called up 60,000 reservists for this purpose. Western observers suspect Putin’s aim may be to take over eastern Ukraine by May 9. The day marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. General Alexander Dvornikov, a Chechen and Syrian veteran, is now in charge.
According to the Washington-based Institute for the Studies of War (ISW), it will be difficult for Russia to muster enough men and equipment in the Donbass to achieve a military breakthrough. “Presumably, Russia will continue to send severely damaged and partially salvaged units without systems into offensive operations that will bring limited gains at high cost,” CNN said citing analysis from the think tank.