UKRAINE, KHARKIV OBLAST, Mar 20 — On March 19, the Russian military hit the settlements of Kozacha Lopan, Mokra Rokytna, Vesele, and Izbytske in the Kharkiv Oblast with airstrikes.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine informed about this in a morning briefing.

Over the past day, the Ukrainian Armed Forces repelled ten Russian attacks in the Kupiansk direction near Synkivka in the Kharkiv Oblast.

In the Slobozhanskyi direction, in the border areas, the Russian military conducts intense sabotage activities to prevent the deployment of Ukrainian troops to more dangerous directions and increases the density of minefields along the state border in the Belgorod Oblast.

The Russian army fired mortars and artillery at more than 150 settlements in the Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts.

About the situation in the Kupiansk community

On February 20, during a telethon, the head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, Oleh Syniehubov, said that the Russian troops intensified shelling of the border areas of the Kharkiv Oblast and continued to storm the positions of Ukrainian defenders in the Kupiansk direction. Russians try to take over favorable heights and occupy Kupiansk, an important logistics hub in the region. However, despite the accumulation of Russian forces, the Ukrainian military is holding back the pressure and not giving up their positions.

On February 24, Ukrainian politician Oleksandra Ustynova said in a commentary for the German state radio and TV channel Deutsche Welle that the next target of Russian President Vladimir Putin after the occupation of Avdiivka could be Kupiansk and then Kharkiv. This could happen if Western partners do not increase aid and Ukraine does not receive ammunition, longer-range missiles, and the promised F-16 fighter jets.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy also commented on the threat of Kupiansk’s occupation during a joint briefing with European leaders in Kyiv. In response to a question from a foreign journalist who conveyed the concern of the mayor of Kupiansk about the situation and his wish that the West would deliver the promised weapons as soon as possible, the President replied: “Kupiansk needs help, Kharkiv Oblast as a whole needs help. But I want to remind you that the real defensive line in the Kharkiv Oblast is very good, thanks to our people and the support of our partners.”

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