Zelensky notes Russian troop buildup near Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya

20 June, 12:20 PM
Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:Office of the President)

Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:Office of the President)

Russian invasion forces are amassing troops in close proximity to the cities of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhya, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address to the nation.

“The invaders are building up their troops and focusing on directions toward Kharkiv, then also in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, so they would be able to shell our energy infrastructure – they want to push our shortage of fuel to a critical level,” said the President.

“Obviously, we’re going to respond to this.”

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He added that the Russian army is likely to orchestrate a “show” before Ukraine is granted candidate status to join the European Union.

“We are preparing, we’re ready to respond,” Zelensky said in response to this “show.”

A day earlier, presidential advisor Oleksiy Arestovych revealed that the Russian army is trying to counter-advance in Kharkiv Oblast, and is increasing artillery activity focused on the city of Kharkiv.

Moreover, the presidential advisor added that Russian armed forces have stationed 5-7 battalion tactical groups, advancement divisions, and helicopters in Belgorod Oblast, a Russian region that borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast.

Increasing the area of military control in Zaporizhzhya Oblast is a recent advancement of the Russian army in southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, fighting in the Kharkiv Oblast has been on-going since the early days of the war. After the Ukrainian army managed to liberate a substantial number of towns and villages, the Russian military increased its combat activity in the region.

Both Zaporizhzhya and Kharkiv are significant industrial cities that host manufacturing assets of critical importance for the Ukrainian economy.

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