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Anti-Putin Russian paramilitaries join Ukraine’s fight in Kharkov region



Anti-Putin Russian paramilitaries join Ukraine's fight in Kharkov region

Ukraine has sent reinforcements to strengthen its defenses against a Russian ground invasion.

Kharkiv region:

Peeking out from under his hat and covering his face, the Russian who fought for Kiev described the brutal battles in the northeastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, where Moscow’s forces opened a new front last week.

“The situation is difficult, the intensity is very high, there is fighting almost every ten minutes,” said the mortar man, who identified himself only by his call sign Winnie.

The soldier is part of the Freedom of Russia Legion, a group of Russians opposed to President Vladimir Putin who is fighting for Ukraine.

Ukraine has sent reinforcements, including the legion and two other units made up of Russian nationals, to strengthen its defenses against a Russian ground incursion into the northern Kharkov region that began almost a week ago.

“It’s an incredible meat grinder that they’re still sending their people to,” said Winnie, describing Russian losses as Moscow’s infantry try to charge deeper into Ukraine. Both sides say the other is suffering heavy losses in the war, claims that cannot be independently verified.

The deputy commander of the Freedom of Russia Legion, Maksimilian Andronikov, also known by his call sign Caesar, said Russian fighters have become more innovative.

“They have learned the lessons of war and are using quite intelligent tactics,” he said.

A particularly grim innovation is the increase in the use of aerial bombs, which are dropped from airplanes and usually contain several hundred pounds of explosives or more. Russia has enormous stockpiles of relatively cheap Soviet-era bombs.

In recent months, Russia has managed to increase battlefield gains by bombarding frontline cities and infantry positions with aerial bombs.

“Today four guided aerial bombs came in, about 500 meters away. I was lying on the ground and it started shaking, I was thrown up – and I’m not small,” Winnie said.


The Russian attack, which is heading towards the cities of Lyptsi and Vovchansk north of Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv, started last Friday.

It appears that the Russians have been able to advance at least several kilometers in some places, one of the fastest advances either side has seen since 2022, the first year of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

“The enemy has the advantage in manpower, even if they do not have as many vehicles as before,” Andronikov said of the Kharkiv front.

The Russians, he said, sent noticeably fewer armored vehicles, but were still able to launch several times more artillery shells and FPV drones than Ukraine.

“We feel the shortage. We understand very well that if it did not exist, the enemy would not have these successes here or in the Donbas,” he said of the artillery imbalance, a problem that Ukraine has felt acutely in the past six months. .

He denounced the restrictions some Ukrainian allies placed on using their weapons to attack Russia, saying the restriction would hamper Kiev’s ability to fight back on the northern front, where the lines are a few kilometers from Russian territory. hinders.

Ukrainian soldiers have long complained that the restriction gives Russia a shield, allowing its forces to launch attacks from across the border without endangering their logistics.

“It’s a problem. There is a whole list of weapons that we receive, but until recently we did not have the right to use them on the territory of Russia… with impunity the enemy takes advantage of the fact that Russian territory can. don’t get hit.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)