ua en ru

Russia attempts to capture Kupiansk - Expert explains Russian intent

Russia attempts to capture Kupiansk - Expert explains Russian intent An expert explained the purpose of Russia's advance on Kupiansk (photo: Getty Images)

The Russians have once again become more active in the Lyman-Kupiansk direction, but they haven't achieved any significant progress yet. The occupiers' objective is to impede the Ukrainian counteroffensive in southern Ukraine, states Oleksandr Musiienko, the head of the Military-Legal Research Center.

Russians have intensified their activities in the East

It was recently reported that the Russians intensified their offensive on the city of Avdiivka in the Donetsk region. The occupiers heavily shelled the city with artillery and aviation, and they advanced from multiple directions.

Today, the Commander of the Army of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Syrskii, announced that Russian forces have launched an intense offensive on the Kupiansk-Lyman direction with the goal of encircling the city of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region.

"Every day, the enemy conducts dozens of attacks with assault groups supported by armored vehicles and maintains intense mortar and artillery fire on our positions," he stated.

The objective of the Russian advance

According to military expert Musiienko, this is not the first attempt by the Russians to advance towards Kupiansk. The occupiers initially tried to seize the Ukrainian city again in the summer, but that attempt was unsuccessful for the Russian army.

"Now they are making a second attempt. The goal of these actions is to prevent us from conducting any counteroffensive actions in the south, seize the initiative, and enter the winter period with battles in the east," he explained.

In Musiienko's opinion, the Russians are trying to hinder the Ukrainian Armed Forces' counteroffensive in the winter period, as repeatedly stated by the Ukrainian side. That's why, as the expert clarifies, the enemy has intensified its activities on the eastern and southeast fronts.

"This is a strategic calculation to involve us in battles in the east, to prolong the time as much as possible, assuming that Ukraine's support from the West next year will decrease," the expert noted.

Musiienko added that while the Russians have achieved tactical successes on several fronts, they are minor, and there has been no significant advancement of Russian forces.

"I believe that our forces may succeed in repelling all these numerous assaults, exhausting the enemy, and in the spring, with normal support from partners, we will be able to form a group that will allow us to continue the counteroffensive," he summarized.

What is known about Kupiansk

Kupiansk is a city in the Kharkiv region and the second-largest railway junction in the region, located about 40 km from the border with Russia. This makes the city a crucial point on the map.

Three days after the start of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation on February 27, 2022, Kupiansk was temporarily occupied. On September 10, 2022, the Ukrainian Armed Forces liberated the city from Russian occupiers. However, the city continues to suffer from Russian shelling.

Russia attempts to capture Kupiansk - Expert explains Russian intent

John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the U.S. National Security Council, stated that the Russian successes in the recent advances near Lyman and Avdiivka are "very modest." The latest Russian offensive was not a surprise.