Russian forces withdrew from Kharkiv. A big defeat for Putin, a Russian expert believes.
Russian forces may have decided to completely withdraw from their positions around Kharkiv, according to the US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, said on Saturday BBC That the Russians had withdrawn from the Kharkiv metropolitan area.
– Now there is calm in Kharkiv and people are gradually returning to the city. We provide water, gas and electricity to all residents. But unfortunately, many apartment buildings were destroyed or damaged. So in the future we will have a big reconstruction task.
The mayor said there had been no bombing in the city for the past five days.
“There was only one attempt by the Russians to hit the city with a missile near the Kharkiv airport, but the Ukrainian air force repelled the missile,” he told the BBC.
According to ISW, Ukraine appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv.
“Ukrainian forces prevented Russian forces from encircling and controlling Kharkiv, and then expelled them around the city, as in Kyiv,” they wrote.
According to the institute, with a few exceptions, the Russian forces generally did not try to resist the counterattack of the Ukrainian forces.
Russian-Norwegian expert: – To be reliable
Lars Peder Haga has a Ph.D. in Soviet history and has been researching Russian military power for the past eight years.
– I follow ISW, they are credible and skilled. When they say that Ukraine has apparently won the battle of Kharkiv, it must be trusted, he tells VG.
He asserts that ISW has some of the most accurate and best analyzes of the war in Ukraine.
This is a great defeat for Russia. At the beginning of the war, the Russians probably had hope that they would be able to besiege Kharkiv and force them to surrender. It was conceivable that Ukraine would collapse like a house of cards.
Haga continues, the piece of land controlled by the Russians is now decreasing.
Ukraine’s victory in the Battle of Kharkiv means that the city is no longer under pressure. Then the Ukrainians could use their forces elsewhere. This also means that they can begin to threaten the Russians’ supply lines from north to south – making it difficult for them to continue the offensive south towards the Donbass.
It is unrealistic that the Russians are regaining control
Haga told VG that it was “completely unrealistic” that Russia could regain control of Kharkiv in the near future.
Then something dramatic is bound to happen in the way Russia conducts the war.
Haga believed that Russia’s ability to wage war would be exhausted in the summer.
The head of Ukrainian intelligence, Major General Kirillo Budanov, says In an interview with British Sky News He believed that the war would reach a turning point in August.
Haga believes that the Russian army will end during the summer.
– They have exhausted their forces and the war will enter a calmer phase.
Ukrainian authorities claim the same thing
Russian authorities announced on Saturday that Russian forces are withdrawing from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.
Ukraine’s General Staff says the Russians are withdrawing from Kharkiv, focusing on guarding their supply lines. At the same time, the Russians are intensifying their artillery and air strikes on the Donbass region in the east.
The Ukrainian authorities also announced, Friday, that the Russian war is in a third stage, as it will try to defend the territories occupied so far.
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