UKRAINE, Apr 18 — The build-up of Russian troops in numbers required to re-invade Ukraine has not been observed on the border of the Kharkiv, Chernihiv, or Sumy Oblasts and Russia, reported the spokesman for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Andrii Demchenko, during a telethon. He said the build-up was also not documented on Ukraine’s border with Belarus.

“On the other side of the border, we do not [see] that Russia has the necessary capabilities to re-invade,” he said.

Demchenkso said that defense capabilities are being strengthened in Kharkiv, Sumy, and Chernihiv regions to prevent a repeated offensive, and noted, “[we shouldn’t] exclude the possibility that Russia might act at any moment.”

As Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said, the Ukrainian Government will allocate an additional $96 million to continue the construction of fortifications along the entire frontline. 

According to him, the Kharkiv region will receive $43 million to strengthen its fortifications, and the Sumy region will receive another $38 million.

Fortifications are designed to increase the effectiveness of weapons and military equipment, ensure stable command and control of troops, and protect troops and the population from enemy weapons. The conversation about lacking fortifications along the frontline started in Ukrainian society after the Armed Forces withdrew from Avdiivka on February 17, and reports about soldiers having to dig trenches under Russian fire started to come in.

According to Shmyhal, the fortification continues around the clock, and the results are already visible. “We are strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities in all directions,” he wrote.

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  •  A Russian ground operation against Kharkiv in the very near future is unlikely, but Russian efforts to create strategic reserves and reposition forces in the theater could allow Russian forces to launch an offensive toward the city in the summer, according to the Institute for the Study of War report.