Russia gathered 40,000 troops near Kharkov, gearing up for the big battle
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Russia gathered 40,000 troops near Kharkov, gearing up for the big battle

(Dan Tri) – Ukraine said Russia has gathered a large number of tanks, artillery and soldiers near the city of Kupyansk in Kharkov, seemingly about to launch a large-scale attack.

Ukraine says Russia is aiming for a major battle in Kharkov (Photo: Reuters).

Ukraine’s Eastern Command said Russia had sent 500 tanks, 600 combat vehicles, hundreds of artillery pieces and 40,000 troops near Kupyansk with the goal of capturing this strategic city.

Ukraine said that Russia has gathered a huge ground force in the eastern battlefield, seemingly directing its attack to the northeast.

Oleksandr Syrsky, Commander of the Ukrainian Army, said intense fighting has begun to take place in all areas of the Kupyansk front, in which Russian forces are attacking with high intensity and deploying reserve forces.

The Ukrainian Defense Strategy Center predicts: `Russia plans to control the entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts as well as part of the Kharkov oblast up to the Oskil River by March 2024.`

Oskil flows through Kupyansk from the north, and Ukraine predicts Russia is putting all lands east of the river in its sights.

Part of about 10 Ukrainian brigades, including the 3rd Tank Brigade in the north and the 4th Tank Brigade in the south, defending Kupyansk and surrounding settlements.

But manpower and means are not a problem for Ukraine right now.

The daily allocation of artillery shells to Ukrainian forces has been reduced to just 2,000 rounds.

Russia’s new firepower advantage allows it to concentrate artillery without fear of Ukrainian counterfire.

`This situation allows Russia to take a common approach: systematically destroy urban areas, making them defenseless,` Ukraine’s Frontelligence Insight analysis group explains.

The destruction has begun.

The Institute for the Study of War in Washington, D.C. warned: `Artillery shortages and delays in Western security assistance will create uncertainty in Ukraine’s combat plans and could force Kiev to

This may also force Ukraine to consider stepping back in certain areas so as not to stretch its limited resources.

With a pre-war population of 1.4 million, Kharkiv is Ukraine’s third largest¬†city and home to strategic industries including Kiev’s main tank factory.

Therefore, Kupyansk is the area where Ukraine seems to be determined to hold on.

Additionally, Ukrainian factories are speeding up the production of first-person drones packed with explosives, tens of thousands of them every month.

But the range of FPV is only a few kilometers, too short to target Russian artillery positions located 15-24km from the front line.

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