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The Economist: Russian attacks aim to make Kharkiv uninhabitable for civilians

by Martin Fornusek April 8, 2024 10:30 AM 2 min read
A view of the city of Kharkiv during the blackout on March 25, 2024. (Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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The recent escalation of Russian strikes against Kharkiv aims to turn the city into a "grey zone," uninhabitable for civilians, The Economist wrote on April 7, citing undisclosed Ukrainian military sources.

Russia recently intensified attacks against Ukraine's second-largest city with the use of missiles, glide bombs, and drones, reportedly destroying almost all of its energy infrastructure.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov told The Economist that his city has no intention of giving up. He pointed out that Kharkiv had already gone through a worse situation at the start of the full-scale war when only 300,000 residents of the population of 2 million remained in the city.

"How can you make a city like this a grey zone? People won't leave, because they have already left, then returned. They have been tortured enough already," Terekhov said.

The mayor said that the authorities managed to power up the city without working stations or transformers but did not reveal how exactly for security reasons.

The protection of the sky against Russian attacks is increasingly difficult as U.S. aid, a key source of air defense ammunition, has been stuck in Congress for months. Kyiv has appealed to its partners both for further air defense supplies and energy equipment to weather the intensifying attacks.

While Russia's exact goals for Kharkiv remain unknown, Ukrainian officials said that a full-scale military offensive is unlikely in the near future. President Volodymyr Zelensky nevertheless said that "Kharkiv is protected" in such an eventuality.

Ukraine war latest: Russia reportedly loses 7 aircraft; Zelensky says Kharkiv ‘protected’ against potential offensive
Key developments on April 6-7: * Prosecutor General’s Office: Russian soldiers kill 3 Ukrainian POWs * Trump reportedly wants Ukraine to cede Crimea, Donbas to Russia * Russia lost 7 aircraft in Ukraine’s April 5 attack on air base, source says * Zelensky says Kharkiv is prepared for a potentia…
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