The US newspaper cites official Ukrainian sources and sources from the Western allies. As confirms The New York Times, the Russians lost their land in this area adjacent to the Donbass, where the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, recognized by Moscow, are located. Specifically, the Russian army intends to take control of Kharkov in order to ensure the success of its offensive on these two pro-Russian regions.
The newspaper said that if this position was confirmed, it would be “the biggest setbacks that Russia has suffered since its withdrawal from Kyiv last month.” Ukrainian authorities believe the Kremlin is now likely to redirect its forces to the southeast, where it is said to be strengthening its forces at Izyum, the city it captured last month.
Critical Operations Center
Izyum, located about two hours southeast of Kharkiv, has become an important center of operations for Russia, which is said to be making gains in eastern Donbass, where the fighting has been relentless and its forces backed by pro-Russian paramilitaries.
In recent weeks, Russia has been trying to create a corridor that would allow its forces to move from eastern Ukraine to Crimea. To do this, it has doubled its offensive in the Donbass and is trying to take full control of the port city of Mariupol, where only a stronghold of Ukrainian soldiers, mostly from the Azov regiment, entrenched in the steel mill facilities of Azovstal, can resist.