Artillery price

Russian forces may soon be forced out of Kharkiv artillery range: report

Ukrainian forces could soon force Russian troops out of Kharkiv’s artillery range, according to an assessment which indicates that the fighting in the Donbass region is entering a decisive phase.

American think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said friday that over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian forces had captured several settlements northeast of Ukraine’s second-largest city in an operation that turned into a “successful and wider counter-offensive”.

He said Ukrainian forces were “notably retaking territory along a broad arc around Kharkiv rather than focusing on a narrow thrust” and this showed that they were capable of launching larger-scale offensive operations than ‘previously.

Ukrainian forces “may succeed in pushing Russian forces out of Kharkiv’s artillery range in the coming days,” the ISW said, adding that they may be able to “relieve Russian pressure on Kharkiv and possibly threaten to make further advances towards the Russian border”.

It comes as the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Russian forces had started blowing up bridges to slow down a Ukrainian offensive in the Tsyrkuny and Rusky Tyshky region east of Kharkiv.

“The Russian occupiers blew up three road bridges in order to slow down the counter-offensive actions of the Ukrainian Defense Forces”, The Ukrainian army declared in his Facebook update, although this has not been independently verified. Newsweek contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

Meanwhile, in his daily update, the UK Ministry of Defense said the war was “taking a heavy toll on some of Russia’s most successful units and most advanced capabilities”. He was referring to the destruction this week by Kyiv forces of at least one T-90M, which is Russia’s most advanced tank.

“It will take a lot of time and money for Russia to rebuild its armed forces after this conflict,” British defense officials said, referring to sanctions that will hamper Russia’s access to microelectronic components.

Meanwhile, rescuers were seeking to evacuate more civilians from the Mariupol Azovstal factory where dozens of people, including children, remain trapped underground.

Russian officials and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said evacuation efforts would continue over the weekend, the Associated Press reported. Several dozen people were handed over to the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross on Friday.

The fate of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers trapped in the steel mills is unknown. Russia has repeatedly said that it can only leave if it lays down its arms.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky called the conduct of the Russian military in Mariupol “inhuman”.

In a live address to the Chatham House think tank in London on Friday, he said that if Russia kills civilians who could be exchanged as prisoners of war, “I don’t think we can have diplomatic talks with them after that”.

A Ukrainian serviceman takes position along a trench near Kharkiv April 30, 2022. Ukraine is advancing near the city according to a May 6, 20202 assessment by the Institute for the Study of War think tank.