KHARKIV, UKRAINE, Apr 08 — Russia is likely to turn Kharkiv into a “grey zone” that is unlivable for civilians, reports The Economist, citing anonymous military sources in Kyiv.

“A Ukrainian source with knowledge of the intelligence picture said Russia is currently training six divisions (approximately 120,000 troops) in eastern Siberia,” the publication says. Kharkiv is one of several possible directions for a future Russian assault. It is not the most likely one, but it has already been heavily discussed in Russian media.

“Taking the city would require breaking through Ukrainian defences and encircling it, which Russia is nowhere near being able to do; establishing air superiority, which is not a given; and winning a bloody urban campaign,” writes The Economist.

The mayor, Ihor Terekhov, says the city has no intention of giving up. Things were worse at the start of the war when all but 300,000 of the pre-war population of 2 million fled.

According to Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, last time, during the counteroffensive, a large-scale collapse of the Russian front happened in the Kharkiv Oblast. If the Russian army decides to attack again, Kharkiv will be a “fatal” city for them.

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  • At about midnight, the Russian army hit Kharkiv with a double-tap missile attack, reports Serhii Bolvinov, the head of the regional department of the National Police. The Shevchenkivskiy district of the city came under S-300 fire.