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Tactics of thousand cuts: military expert describes Russia’s objectives in Kharkiv region offensive

13 May, 2024 Monday
21:36

Russia seeks to turn Kharkiv into an uninhabitable city 

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Dmytro Sniehyrov, military expert and co-chairman of the Pravova Sprava NGO, shared his opinions with Espreso TV.

"The task of the occupiers at the moment is to divert the attention of Ukraine's General Staff from the key areas of the Russian offensive, namely the Donetsk front, Vuhledar, Pokrovsk and Bakhmut directions. This is a 'thousand cuts tactic - simultaneous strikes in several directions to divert the attention of the Ukrainian General Staff at the moment of redeployment of operational reserves. This is the main thing that is happening in the Kharkiv region," he said.

Russian forces are trying to reach Kharkiv within the range of artillery fire, up to 15 km, Sniehyrov said.

"Most likely, this is their main task, to turn the city into an uninhabitable place for civilians. The third task is to provoke massive migration processes of civilians leaving Kharkiv and the region for the interior of Ukraine. Kharkiv is currently home to 1.3 million people. That is, the occupiers' task is to provoke processes that will indicate chaos, panic and distrust in the actions of central and local authorities. It is also an additional burden on central and local budgets at the time of evacuation measures," he added.

Battles with occupying Russian forces in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

On May 10, Ukraine's Defense Ministry reported that the Russian occupation army had intensified attacks in the northern sector. Around 5 a.m., the enemy tried to break through the Ukrainian defense in the Kharkiv region. The Ukrainian Defense Forces met the invading forces with fire.

At 11:00 p.m. on May 10, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that defensive battles were currently underway in the Kharkiv region. Counterattacks continue in the directions of Lyptsi and Vovchansk. The Russian army is using infantry and equipment. 

On May 10, 1,775 civilians were evacuated from the districts of Kharkiv region that are constantly under intense Russian fire.

Subsequently, the Atesh guerrilla movement reported that the Russian military refused to attack Kharkiv. The Russian occupation troops also began to apply new tactical signs to their vehicles, probably denoting a group operating in the north of Kharkiv region.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Russian offensive operations along the border in Kharkiv region are likely to have a strategic goal of drawing and consolidating Ukrainian forces on this axis to enable Russian advance into other areas of eastern Ukraine.

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