For the first time, the Ukrainian military says Russian forces have begun blowing up bridges in the northeast to slow down the Ukrainian response.
In its latest operational update, General Staff said Saturday that in the Tsyrkuny and Rusky Tyshky areas east of Kharkiv, “occupiers blew up three road bridges to slow down the defense forces’ response.”
CNN cannot independently verify the claim.
In the past two weeks, Ukrainian troops have recaptured several villages north and east of Kharkiv, making it difficult for Russians to use artillery against the city, as well as fighting forces in Donetsk and Luhansk. It has also threatened to cut off Russian supply lines. .
Kharkiv is close to the Russian border, and was one of the first cities to be attacked during the Russian invasion.
Silence in Russian aggression: The General Staff said for the second day in a row that some offensive operations had been carried out by Russian forces, but artillery fire and aerial reconnaissance continued.
Some Ukrainian officials believe that Russian units are stopping before the start of the next phase, aimed at securing all of Donetsk and Luhansk.
General Staff says that apart from these two regions, the Russians have continued to shell the southern city of Mikolaev. In the north of the city, Ukrainians claimed to have destroyed “a warehouse containing up to 20 units of ammunition and enemy military equipment.”
Russia’s “Victory Day”: Tensions are rising before May 9, known as Russia’s “Victory Day” – a sign of Moscow’s victory over Nazi Germany. Western officials have warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin may formally declare war on that day, which could allow him to mobilize reserves and intensify the Russian offensive.
At the beginning of the day, Russian forces occupying the Kherson region of Ukraine increased their checkpoints and patrols, the Ukrainian General Staff said.
Residents will be allowed to hold Russian passports, Kirill Strymosov, the Russian-appointed deputy head of the Khursin military administration, said on Friday. Also on Friday, a senior Russian official was in the region with the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.