General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces, visited military units in the Kupiansk sector facing heavy onslaught of Russian forces, the Ground Forces' press service said on social media on Feb. 3.
In the past weeks, Kyiv has been warning that Russia is intensifying attacks around Kupiansk, aiming to encircle and capture this key logistics hub in Kharkiv Oblast. The northeastern city was temporarily occupied by Russian forces in 2022.
"The operational situation remains tense... The enemy continues to conduct high-intensity assault operations and is constantly bringing in new supplies," the report said.
Syrskyi listened to reports of local commanders and discussed possible scenarios of Russian actions, taking into consideration gathered intelligence.
In order to solve critical defense tasks, a "redistribution of forces and resources was carried out," the Ground Forces' press service said.
The U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in early January that Russia may soon scale up localized offensive operations with the aim of capturing Kupiansk.
According to Ukrainian commanders, Russia is particularly focusing its efforts on the nearby village of Synkivka.
On Jan. 21, Moscow claimed the capture of Krokhmalne, a village around 25 kilometers southeast of Kupiansk. Kyiv later confirmed a withdrawal from Krokhmalne but said the loss of this abandoned village has no strategic importance.
Russian sources also alleged the capture of Tabaivka, but the Ukrainian military refuted this claim.