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Military: Russia concentrates troops near Kupiansk, Ukraine builds 'powerful fortifications'

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 26, 2024 4:01 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers on an armored infantry vehicle on the road to Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on Feb. 14, 2024. (Vlada Liberova/Libkos/Getty Images)
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Russia continues concentrating its forces near Kharkiv Oblast's Kupiansk, which remains the primary target for Russia in this area of Ukraine's front line, Illia Yevlash, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Khortytsia Operational and Strategic Group, said on Feb. 26.

Kupiansk, a crucial logistics juncture that was temporarily occupied by Russia in 2022, is coming under renewed pressure by Moscow's troops.

Ukrainian forces, in turn, have built a line of defense and "powerful fortifications" near Kupiansk, "skillfully using the features of the landscape," Yevlash said on national television.

The situation in the sector is "very difficult," according to Yevlash, with Russia using a large amount of equipment and deploying reserves, mobilized soldiers, and units formed of convicts.

Russia’s military is also strengthening the border with Kharkiv Oblast to prevent possible cross-border raids into the Russian territory, added Yevlash.

Following the capture of Avdiivka, Russia has intensified its offensive efforts across several sectors of Ukraine’s front line, likely in order to stretch Ukrainian forces, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported in its Feb. 21 intelligence update.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) warned that Russia could replicate its successful tactics in Avdiivka on a larger scale if the West continues to delay military assistance.

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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