The Russian Army is withdrawing troops from the city of Kharkov, the second largest city in Ukraine, on which it had intensified its bombing in recent days, The New York Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper, which cites official Ukrainian and Western allied sources, assures that the Russians have lost ground in this region neighboring Donbas, where the self-proclaimed republics of Donestk and Lugansk are located, both recognized by Moscow.

Precisely, the Russian Army intends to control Kharkov in order to ensure the success of the offensive it has launched on these two pro-Russian regions. If this situation is confirmed, it would be one of “the greatest setbacks suffered by Russia since its withdrawal from kyiv last month,” the newspaper highlights.

Ukrainian authorities believe the Kremlin is likely to redirect troops now to the southeast, where it is said to be reinforcing its forces in Izium, a city it captured last month.

Izium, about two hours southeast of Kharkiv, has become a crucial operations center for Russia, which is reportedly making gains in eastern Donbas, where fighting has been relentless and its forces are aided by groups pro-Russian paramilitaries.

Russia has been trying in recent weeks to establish a corridor that would allow its troops to move from eastern Ukraine to the Crimean peninsula, which it already invaded in 2014.

To do this, it has redoubled its offensive in Donbas and is trying to gain total control of the port city of Mariupol, where only a redoubt of Ukrainian soldiers, mostly from the Azov regiment, resist entrenched in the Azovstal steel mill facilities. .

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