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Cars are moving along a dark street in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 24, 2024, as the city is experiencing power outages following a Russian missile and drone attack on Kharkiv's power system. (Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Russian forces would need years to occupy the city of Kharkiv, Oleksandr Pivnenko, a commander of Ukraine’s National Guard, said in an interview with the Liga.net media outlet on April 23.

Moscow 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 that 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.

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The Financial Times reported on April 13 that Russia might plan to attack Kharkiv as part of a wider offensive. Western officials nevertheless believe that Moscow does not have a capability to launch a new attack "without a major replenishment of Russian troops," according to Bloomberg.

Pivnenko did not rule out the possibility of a new Russian offensive on Kharkiv, but this attempt would fail, he said.

However, in such a scenario, the city may face "constant (Russian) attempts to destroy critical and civilian infrastructure," Pivnenko added.

"They (Russian troops) will have to fight for years to capture Kharkiv. Remember how long Bakhmut and Avdiivka were held. It is easier for the Russians to change the Russian leadership and abandon their plans than to seize the city, bringing thousands more of their soldiers to death," the commander said.

At the end of March, Russia destroyed all the electrical substations in Kharkiv, leaving Ukraine's second-largest city without a stable power supply.

In the latest attack on Kharkiv, Russian forces struck the city’s television broadcasting tower on April 22, causing the top half of the mast to collapse.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggested that Russia is conducting a combined effort to destroy Kharkiv and cause a mass exodus of civilians.

Kharkiv at risk of becoming ‘second Aleppo,’ mayor says
Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov believes his city is at risk of becoming “a second Aleppo” if left without help to obtain air defense systems, according to an article published by the Guardian on April 17.


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11:54 AM

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