UKRAINE, KHARKIV OBLAST, JAN 22 — The Russian army had a “very fun night” in the occupied Krokhmalne on the Kupiansk axis because they weren’t in “the best position” there.

Volodymyr Fito, the spokesman of the Ground Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, spoke about the situation on this section of the frontline in the ether of Radio Liberty. 

“The adversary isn’t in good conditions there, [they are] constantly shelled. Our defenders are in the active defense — that allows them, when the timing is right, to shift to offense and improve our tactical conditions. It’s not worth it to make a tragedy out of it [the occupation of Krokhmalne — ed.], because that decision aimed to save lives of Ukrainian soldiers, and we will liberate the territory and push Russians out,” Fito said. 

When did Russia occupy Krokhmalne?

On January 20, the Institute for the Study of War, referring to geolocation footage, reported that Russian troops occupied Krokhmalne in Kharkiv oblast. 

The village is located 26 kilometers (~16 miles) from the Russian border, near Tabaivka, which was a primary vector of the Russian attack on January 19. 

Read more: Kharkiv Troops Destroyed $10 Million Worth of Russian Equipment in Bakhmut Direction

Russians had already seized Krokhmalne at the beginning of their full-scale invasion. Ukrainian troops pushed their forces out during the Kharkiv counteroffensive in the autumn of 2022. 

Commenting on the second occupation of the village, Volodymyr Fito said that houses there were “destroyed by Russian aggressor,” and the Ukrainian troops moved to reserved positions to hold defense and not allow the adversary to move further.

He added that Russians seizing Krokhmalne poses no threat to neighboring military units and that the situation is temporary.