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Bloomberg: Russia does not have capability to launch offensive on Kharkiv

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 16, 2024 3:35 PM 2 min read
An exterior view of a damaged residential building after Russian aerial bombing of the city’s residential area with UMPB D-30 glide munition on April 7, 2024 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. (Ivan Samoilov/Gwara Media/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Western officials do not believe that Russia has the capability to launch a new attack on Ukraine's second city of Kharkiv "without a major replenishment of Russian troops," Bloomberg reported on April 16.

Russia recently intensified attacks against Kharkiv, which had a population of 1.4 million in 2021, with the use of missiles, glide bombs, and drones, destroying energy infrastructure and killing civilians.

Russian forces failed to take Kharkiv in the first weeks of the full-scale invasion, despite the fact the city lies less than 30 kilometers from the Russian border.

In late March, President Volodymyr Zelensky said another major Russian offensive may come at the end of May or in June.

The Financial Times then reported on April 13 that Russia might plan to attack Kharkiv as part of a wider offensive.

Zelensky has said that "Kharkiv is protected" and Ukraine's military intelligence said earlier in April that news of a potential attack on Kharkiv "part of a Russian psychological operation," adding that there were no signs of Moscow preparing new attack formations to carry out a ground offensive.

"While Russia may be short of the manpower," Moscow is making a "coordinated effort to cut off supplies and create conditions that make the city uninhabitable, Bloomberg said, citing officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The damage is extensive enough, and the attacks so unrelenting, that authorities will struggle to restore capacity before the cold sets in next winter," Bloomberg said.

More than $10 billion is needed to rebuild everything that Russian forces have damaged or destroyed in Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said earlier in April.

Terekhov then told The Economist that Russia aims to make the city uninhabitable for civilians, but that Kharkiv was in a worse situation at the start of the full-scale war, when only 300,000 residents remained.

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3:53 PM

6 injured in Kharkiv after Russia's 5th attack in single day.

Also on July 24, a Russian missile attack against the town of Lozova killed one person, injured four, and damaged an infrastructure facility. Search for two more people who may be trapped underneath the rubble is ongoing, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.
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