Ukraine faces new Russian Offensive in North

New Russian front threatens Kharkiv City while Poland and Romania may be used by NATO to enforce no-fly zone in western Ukraine
New Russian front threatens Kharkiv City while Poland and Romania may be used by NATO to enforce no-fly zone in western Ukraine.

By David Sole

The Ukrainian military, hard pressed and retreating on its eastern front, now faces a new Russian offensive from the north in the Kharkiv region. This is a proxy war being fought by Ukrainians on behalf of the United States. Ukraine faces looming defeat while the threat of US/NATO escalation remains a very real danger.

Since the defeat of the much vaunted Ukrainian “Counteroffensive” from June to October of last year, the Russian Federation has been on its own offensive. Utilizing a big advantage in troop numbers, artillery, ammunition and dominance of the skies, Russia has broken one Ukrainian defensive line after another. Fighting has been fiercest in the Donbas region.

Kharkiv province has changed hands twice since the start of the Russian Special Military Operation on February 24, 2022. Major fighting has not occurred there since Russian forces retreated from that province under Ukrainian advances in late 2022. Ukraine, however, has steadily increased isolated border raids into Russia’s Belgorod province causing numerous civilian deaths.

On April 15, 2024 the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the formation of a powerful new Army of the North. On May 10 Russian forces crossed into Kharkiv province. On the very first day it was reported that numerous villages were captured. Ukrainian troops have been driven back and thousands of civilians have been evacuated. The capital city of Kharkiv is just about 25 miles from the Russian border and several villages just north of that city have been taken by the Russians.

This new Russian offensive is a probing action. On the one hand it may be testing Ukrainian defenses and positions prior to a full scale assault on the province and Ukraine’s second largest city – Kharkiv. On the other hand it will, no doubt, require Ukraine to transfer troops from other frontlines which are under heavy attack. In either case it must further weaken Ukraine’s capacity to continue the war.

The US and its NATO allies are desperately looking for ways to keep the war going. All along Ukraine has been used as a proxy in order to “weaken” the Russian Federation. For 10 years the West has been training Ukraine troops and arming them to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in equipment. None of this has proved successful and Ukraine may face the collapse of its military formations.

The most recent idea being floated comes from the German government. Officials from the Free Democratic Party, the Christian Democratic Union and the Green Party proposed that air defense systems in Poland and Romania could be used to shoot down Russian aircraft in western Ukraine. Of course this plan could easily result in those NATO border nations being subject to armed retaliation. Escalation could easily get out of hand.

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