War in Ukraine, drones over Kharkiv: nine dead and dozens injured in Russian raids


By John

Another flood of fire in Ukraine: it is at least 9 dead and dozens injured in the toll from new Russian attacks on Kharkiv, second city in the country close to the border, the scene of the fierce resistance of Kiev's troops and never fallen into Russian hands despite being one of the main initial objectives of the conflict. Over the course of the night, Iranian-made kamikaze drones hit several residential buildings, killing 8, followed by remote-controlled bombs throughout the day which continued to claim victims. «The Russian terror against Kharkiv does not stop. Another hard blow for the city and the region”, thundered the president Volodymyr Zelensky, returning to urge allies on the provision of air defenses: «It is imperative to strengthen air defense for Kharkiv oblast. And partners can help us with this.” The Ukrainian leader then reiterated his appeal to the United States to release the aid frozen by Congress while meeting a Bipartisan delegation during a visit to the Chernihiv region, where the anniversary of liberation from the Russians was celebrated two years ago. The editorial board of the New York Times also took action on this front, inviting the speaker of the House Mike Johnson to act, otherwise if Russia «imposes its will on Ukraine, American credibility and leadership will suffer a serious blow ».

The counterattack

Meanwhile, Kiev claims responsibility for the explosion that damaged an oil pipeline in Russia used for military purposes: the intelligence of the Ministry of Defense (Gur) specifies that it is the pipeline in the settlement of Azov, in the Rostov region. «The loading operations of the oil tankers have been suspended indefinitely», he states. On the field, however, the situation remains very difficult, with Vladimir Putin's troops advancing and the Ukrainians increasingly on the defensive: the head of the Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrsky, denounces “offensive operations day and night”. Moscow enjoys air superiority and the advantage in missile and ammunition supplies, and continues “to try to advance to the administrative border of the Donetsk region”. The only positive note is that the Chasiv Yar settlement «remains under control, the Russian attempts to break through have so far failed”: in any case, throughout the area there are “fierce battles”, particularly in Pervomaiske and Vodianeas well as east of Chasiv Yar itself.

The Russian offensive

The new flare-up of the Russian offensive is also partly mitigated by the new war approach decided by the Kremlin. Russian forces carry out low-scale mechanized assaults, with platoons, companies and battalions, abandoning for now the massive use of infantry as in the case of the campaign to conquer Avdiivka, weeks ago, when armored vehicles remained in the rear. This, explains the American think tank Institute for the study of war, depends above all on desire to limit human losses on the ground, despite the 30 thousand recruitments per month advertised by Moscow's military intelligence, a sign that the Kremlin does not want any more infantry bloodbaths and expects to be able to replace armored vehicles and tanks over the next few months.

Air defense

The situation on the air defense front is more complex: the Russian region of Belgorod is always in the crosshairs, 10 Ukrainian Vampire rockets shot down in the last few hours, while the fearsome attacks by Kiev's drones are intensifying, putting the Russians to the test. The Ministry of Defense announced the destruction, in a single day, of 205 drones. And Zelensky is focusing precisely on these new weapons: «In the sky and at sea, our drones have demonstrated that Ukrainian strength can defeat Russian evil. I thank all those who produce and supply drones to our armed forces,” said the Ukrainian president, assuring that more drones will be produced this year.