Why Russia lost the Battle of Kharkiv

Dukrainian soldiers are armed with a yellow-blue border post. With that, they go through the bushes. You can see an anti-tank ditch and behind it a blue sign. Then the camera pans to the men who have lined up next to the pole. “Mr. President, we are at the border,” says one of the soldiers, who identifies himself as a member of a territorial defense battalion. It means: on the border “towards the occupier”, towards Russia. The video was released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to document the recent success. As usual, its authenticity cannot be verified. It is irritating that the soldier is talking about April 15 instead of May 15.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Nevertheless, one thing is clear: the Russian armed forces have lost the next big battle of their war against Ukraine. At the end of March, they had to abandon the siege of kyiv and withdraw ignominiously. Today, the same thing happened to them in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed this on Sunday. The Russian war is not going as planned, he said after a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin. “They failed to take kyiv. They are withdrawing from the Kharkiv region, their big offensive in the Donbass has stalled. The day before, the Institute for the Study of War concluded: “The Ukraine probably won the battle of Kharkiv. The independent American think tank has gained a high reputation since February 24 with its daily updated war analyses.

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