Russian bombed Kharkiv hours after the visit of the German Foreign Minister to the city
Russian forces targeted Kharkiv on Tuesday night, as the regional governor announced, a few hours after the unexpected visit of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, accompanied by her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to this city in northeastern Ukraine.
“Stay in the shelters!… The occupiers are bombing again” Oleg Synogubov said on Telegram.
On the other hand, Russian news agencies reported that the head of Russia’s private military group, Wagner, said on Tuesday that his forces had captured the town of Solidar in eastern Ukraine, and fighting is continuing.
Ukraine said earlier Tuesday that its forces are still holding out despite the Russian attack.
“Wagner units have taken control of the entire territory of Solidar, and fighting is still going on in the city center” Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a statement.
“The number of prisoners will be announced tomorrow,” he added, without giving further details.
The Ukrainian army was preparing for a possible new attack by the Russian infantry forces from Belarus in the direction of the capital, Kyiv.
Leutnant General Olesky Pavlik, who is responsible for the defense of Kyiv, said on Tuesday, that defense positions in the north of the country have been prepared or strengthened for this purpose.
He added that in order to prevent the rapid advance of the tanks of the Russian units, larger minefields were made at all points from which tanks could cross, and if the forces were unable to cross these barriers, it would be easier for the Ukrainian artillery to destroy the concentrations of the forces.
The Ukrainian forces overcame an advance by Russian forces that came from Belarus towards Kyiv at the beginning of the Russia war in February 2022.
A section of a kilometer-long column of Russian tanks and vehicles in the dense forests north of Kyiv was destroyed and forced to retreat.
The Ukrainian leadership fears another offensive by the Russian army, and for several weeks the Russian army has been sending stronger units along the border with Ukraine in Belarus.
Military experts don’t consider the Russian units in Belarus to be strong enough to launch such an offensive, but they are hampering Ukrainian forces who are being distracted from other sectors of the front.
On Tuesday, Russian forces continued their offensive on the town of in the eastern fronts, Kyiv announced.
“The fierce fighting to defend Solidar continues, and the enemy forces continue to attack despite the losses they have incurred,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said on the Telegram.
She went on to say that the front lines of the Ukrainian defenses were “strewn with the corpses of the aggressors”.
The British Ministry of Defense added, citing intelligence, “It’s likely that they will control most of the town”.
The British Ministry of Defense said their strategy was “a likely attempt to encircle Bakhmut from the north and disrupt Ukrainian lines of communication”.
It added that the fighting focused on abandoned salt mine tunnels that extend under the area and are about 200 kilometers long.
Germany pledged additional aid to Ukraine worth 40 million Euros ($43 million) for demining operations and expanding Internet connectivity.
“We’ll stand by you as long as you need us,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock vowed at the end of a four-and-a-half-hour visit to the war-torn Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on the border with Russia… We’ll do everything so that the children of Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kyiv can believe in a good future again”.
Baerbock said liberated areas must be cleared of mines “to ensure that even if playgrounds are half destroyed, children don’t have to fear that mines can destroy them”.
Baerbock stated that Germany will help finance the expansion of the ground station of the Starlink satellite Internet system.
The German Foreign Minister explained that this improvement will help the people as a whole as well as the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In Kharkiv, she said, she felt “war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian forces”.
On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder confirmed that the United States wants to train Ukrainian soldiers on Bradley infantry fighting vehicles at the Gravenor military training area in Bavaria, Germany.
The United States announced last week that it would provide 50 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles as part of its latest arms deliveries to Ukraine.
Ryder said the tanks are expected to arrive in Ukraine in the coming weeks.
In addition, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday, that his country is in dire need of more supplies of modern weapons from the West, because Russia is mobilizing its forces for further escalation.
“The free world has everything necessary to stop Russian aggression and inflict a historic defeat on the terrorist state,” Zelensky said in a video address.