Ukraine has launched a “successful” counter-offensive in Kharkiv, could push to the border with Russia: the US think tank

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Ukrainian the military is successfully launching a counter-offensive in Kharkiv and may soon push Russian troops back to the Russian border, according to a US think tank.

Russian forces are withdrawing from the northeastern area of ​​Kharkiv and in particular are destroying several bridges in an attempt to “a successful Ukrainian attack,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a group based in Washington DC.

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“Armies generally only destroy bridges if they have largely decided that they will not attempt to cross the river in the other direction anytime soon; it is therefore unlikely that Russian forces will initiate operations to retake Kharkiv’s liberated northeastern suburbs. Ukrainian forces in the near future, “the report said.

A Ukrainian tank drives past a wrecked Russian vehicle in the Kharkiv region on April 14.
(REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis)

Ukraine’s military success in Kharkiv could force strategic change Russia‘, preventing the reinforcements now needed in Kharkiv from providing support in other regions, the report said.

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These potential reinforcements, however, may not yet be sufficient for Russia to take back the region, he added.

“Given the current rate of Ukrainian advancements, Russian forces may not be able to prevent Ukrainian forces from reaching the Russian border, even with additional reinforcements,” ISW relationship She said.

A volunteer from the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces inspects a damaged military vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, on Monday, March 7, 2022.

A volunteer from the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces inspects a damaged military vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, on Monday, March 7, 2022.
(AP Photo / Andrew Marienko)

“The Ukrainian counteroffensive demonstrates promising Ukrainian capabilities and could create the conditions for further offensive operations in the northeast of Kharkiv oblast,” the report continues.

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In the southeastern region of Ukraine, Russia . took Mariupol and may soon annex Kherson or declare the region’s independence from Ukraine, as it did in Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the ISW report.

“According to all indications, Russian forces will announce the creation of a Kherson People’s Republic or perhaps forcibly annex Kherson Oblast in the near future and are stepping up occupation measures in Mariupol,” the report continues. “Russian forces are reportedly increasing their security presence in both Kherson and Mariupol.”

Ukrainian soldiers and firefighters search a destroyed building after a bombing raid in Kiev, Ukraine on Monday, March 14, 2022. (AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda)

Ukrainian soldiers and firefighters search a destroyed building after a bombing raid in Kiev, Ukraine on Monday, March 14, 2022. (AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda)
(Photo AP / Vadim Ghirda)

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Pro-Russian politicians in Kherson are also campaigning for the region to “strive to become a subject of Russia” which “will resemble something like Crimea in terms of pace of development,” the report concludes.