Ahead of Elections: Russia Desperately Attempts to Recapture Kupyansk

Russia aims for recapture of Kupyansk before next year’s elections, facing strong Ukrainian resistance.

Russian troops continue their efforts to recapture Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region, as reported by the Kyiv Post. Kupyansk, which fell at the beginning of the Russian invasion in 2022, was retaken by Ukraine six months later. According to a television interview with the spokesperson for the Ukrainian army, Volodymyr Fityo, the Kremlin aims to achieve “victories” and “political bonuses” before the upcoming Russian presidential elections in March 2024.

Multiple Recapture Attempts

As per Kyiv Post’s information, Fityo stated that despite repeated orders to reach the borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Russian efforts have remained unsuccessful. Particularly under focus of Russian endeavors is Kupyansk. Vladimir Putin, in power since 1999 and labeled a “dictator” by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, plans to run for re-election in the upcoming elections, according to Reuters.

Another objective of the Russian army, according to the Kyiv Post, is to reach the Oskil River in the north of the Kharkiv region. However, these attempts have so far been unsuccessful. In the area of the Chortyzja air defense system, the Russian army has not achieved any strategic successes, Fityo said.

Fierce Battles Around Bakhmut

There have also been several Russian attacks in the Bakhmut sector. Russian troops have been attempting to probe Ukrainian defense systems for weaknesses. According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Ukrainian soldiers repelled ten attacks on Saturday in the Chromovoy, Andriivka, and Klitschiivka districts of the Donetsk region. The Kyiv Post further reports that the Russian army continues to try to encircle Avdiivka, but Ukrainian defense forces were able to repel 18 attacks in the areas of Avdiivka, Severna, Tonenke, and Pervomaiske. Meanwhile, Ukraine continued its offensive south of Bakhmut.

Image: National Police of Ukraine, Kupiansk Local History Museum after Russian shelling, 2023-04-25, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (no changes made)

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