Russia continues to achieve “tactical successes” in its advance towards Kharkiv. But does Putin really want to take over the big city? Military experts believe that Russia actually has a different goal. What happened that night in the Ukraine war.

Now the real goal behind Putin’s Kharkiv offensive is becoming clear

Russia continues to record “tactical successes” in its major offensive in the Kharkiv region. The Ukrainian General Staff reported this on Facebook. As a result, Russia has deployed “up to five battalions” to the region, and the border areas are under fire “almost around the clock.”

But now it seems to be clear what the actual goal of the Russian attacks is. Ukrainian and foreign military observers assume that the advance is not aimed at the city of Kharkiv, which, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), offers only “limited operational targets.” The limited deployment does not suggest “that Russian forces are conducting a large-scale offensive operation to encircle, encircle or capture Kharkiv.”

Instead, the Ukrainian forces should be pushed back from the border. Russia’s strategic goal is to force Ukraine to withdraw soldiers and material from other parts of the front in the east of the country and relocate them to the Kharkiv region. This is intended to further challenge and overwhelm the already limited human resources of the Ukrainians. In addition, the advance should bring the city of Kharkiv back into range of Russian artillery.

Zelenskyj admits difficult situation – and warns: “Occupier feeds on lies”

The Ukrainian defenders and the Russian invaders are engaged in heavy fighting in the far northeast of Ukraine. The Russian offensive in the region is affecting more and more towns, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his video address on Sunday evening. “There are villages that have turned from a ‘gray zone’ into a combat zone, and the occupiers are trying to gain a foothold in some of them or simply use them to further advance,” he said, describing the situation. With this offensive and with advances on other sectors of the front, the Russian military is trying to strain the Ukrainian forces to the utmost.

Above all, the situation around the city of Vovchansk is “extremely difficult”. Vovchansk originally had almost 19,000 inhabitants, of which, according to official information, almost 500 remained in the city, which was under constant fire. The place has now become the focal point of the current fighting.

Zelensky spoke of Ukrainian counterattacks and fierce resistance from his country’s armed forces. “Our task is obvious – we must inflict as many casualties on the occupier as possible,” he said.

At the same time, Zelensky warned the Ukrainian population against unnecessary panic. “Russian information operations are always the fodder for Russian ground operations,” he said. “The occupier feeds on lies and the resulting fear.” That’s why he advises “not to be guided by emotions, not to chase the headlines, to check every report and look for information, not for emotions or rumors, and the to trust Ukrainian defense forces”.

US Secretary of State: Ukraine can hold lines

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with CBS that the Ukrainian armed forces would hold their positions near Kharkiv. Ukraine will also successfully counter Russian aggression on other fronts. The USA also remained on Ukraine’s side, as did over 50 other states that supported the country. “It will stay that way, and if (Kremlin chief Vladimir) Putin thinks he will outlast Ukraine and its supporters, then he is wrong.”

Dead and injured residential building in the Russian border region of Belgorod

At least 13 people died in several attacks on Sunday in the Russian border region of Belgorod, which borders Kharkiv. First, a multi-story residential building was severely damaged in an attack. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the house was hit by falling debris from a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile. This could not initially be verified independently. During the rescue work there was another rocket alarm. According to military information, several missiles were intercepted. However, there were additional victims in these new attacks. The number of people injured in the various attacks was put at 31.

In the evening, attacks by the Ukrainian armed forces were also reported in the Kursk region. At least seven people were injured, the authorities told the Tass agency. The regions near the border with Ukraine have been repeatedly attacked with rockets and artillery in recent months.

This will be important on Monday

Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet in Sweden on Monday with the heads of government of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. This includes, among other things, the security situation in Europe and supporting Ukraine in its defensive battle against Russia.