Hundreds of vehicles in eastern Ukraine: what is the purpose of the Russian convoy near Kharkiv?

Hundreds of vehicles in eastern Ukraine
What is the purpose of the Russian convoy near Kharkiv?

Satellite images show a new Russian convoy east of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. That could be part of the preparations for a major attack in eastern Ukraine. There are other hints for this.

A new Russian military convoy has been spotted in eastern Ukraine and could be part of new attack preparations. As several media reports, it is around 13 kilometers long and was last recorded by satellites east of Kharkiv, in the city of Welyky Burluk. According to “New York Times” the convoy consists of several hundred military vehicles. Accordingly, he is moving in a southerly direction to Izyum, a city in Kharkiv Oblast. There the fighting had recently intensified.

Oleg Synegubov, head of the Kharkiv region’s military administration, also describes the city of Izyum as the “hottest point” in the north-eastern province. In an interview with CNN, Synegubov said a “large enemy military convoy moving towards Izyum was destroyed by Ukrainian forces,” but gave no further details. This information has not yet been independently verified.

As the US news agency UPI reported online, Russian forces captured Izyum last week. The city is strategically important, the US Department of Defense said on Friday. The Russian forces would need the city in order to reach out to the west. The Pentagon said it was monitoring troop movements south from Izyum. There are Kramatorsk, Donetsk and 300 kilometers away Mariupol on the Black Sea coast. However, it is still unclear where exactly the Russian troops are moving.

After the withdrawal of Russian units from the area around Kyiv and other cities in the north of the country, it is expected that the Russians will now intensify their attacks in the Donbass, in the east of Ukraine. Russia is said to have called up 60,000 reservists for this purpose. Western observers suspect that Putin’s goal could be to gain control of eastern Ukraine by May 9th. The day marks the 77th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. General Alexander Dvornikov, a Chechen and Syrian veteran, is now in command.

According to the Washington-based Institute for the Studies of War (ISW), Russia may find it difficult to garner enough men and materiel in the Donbass to achieve a military breakthrough. “Presumably, Russia will continue to send heavily damaged and partially recovered units in offensive operations without a system, which will bring limited gains at high cost,” quotes CNN from an analysis by the think tank.

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