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Russian soldiers have set up military checkpoints in the region containing Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, the country’s Ministry of Defense announced Tuesday.
The checkpoints will ensure “the safe movement of military convoys” inside the Kharkiv region, it said in a Telegram post.
“The main tasks at the roadblocks are to ensure the safety of the movement of military convoys, civilians and to check vehicles, drivers and passengers and to inspect transported goods,” the Kremlin added.
Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second largest city and as of last month, still had about one million residents, according to its mayor.
UKRAINE’S ZELENSKYY WARNS OF ‘DIFFICULT’ FIGHT WITH RUSSIA IN COMING WEEKS
Southeast of the region, “Russia has increased the intensity of its operations in the Donbas as it seeks to encircle Severodonetsk, Lyschansk, and Rubizhne,” the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday.
“At present the northern and southern axes of this operation are separated by approximately 16 miles of Ukrainian-held territory,” it added.
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The U.K. Ministry said “there has been strong Ukrainian resistance with forces occupying well dug-in defensive positions” and that “Ukraine’s long-established Joint Force Operation likely retains effective command and control of this front.”
But “Russia has, however, achieved some localized successes, due in part to concentrating artillery units,” it also said.