Situation in Kharkiv Oblast is better than expected, says analyst Kyrychevsky
Illustrative photo: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The situation in the Kharkiv Oblast is better than expected, as the strategic plan to break through to Kharkiv has been thwarted, according to Defense Express analyst Ivan Kyrychevsky.

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The Russians have been advancing on the border town of Vovchansk for the fourth day, which they were able to capture "in a few hours" in 2022, he told

The expert said that the strengthening of the Ukrainian defense has had an effect – and the situation is better than expected.

The invaders were stopped on the outskirts of the village of Lypci, and accordingly, their main strategic plan – to try to break through to Kharkiv in small groups – was thwarted, Kyrychevsky noted.

According to the analyst, the occupiers decided to repeat the format of hostilities "in the style of the Russian Volunteer Corps," but on a larger scale.

"It is unlikely that the RVC and other armed units of the Russian opposition have 30,000 bayonets and an indecent number of tanks. But everything is much better than we can imagine," he stressed.

As for fortifications, according to the canons of post-Soviet military science, a fortified line of defense is built to a depth of about 30 kilometers: it consists of a support line, first and second lines, Kyrychevsky explained.

Vovchansk was exactly on the support line – and there should not have been "huge fortifications similar to the Maginot Line" around this town "even in theory," he said.

Also, the analyst noted, there is no talk of "lightning-fast" rates of the occupiers' advance at the moment – on May 13, the occupiers' daily loss rate was 1,700 people, which is "an insane record number".

Instead, the Russians have been advancing on the border town of Vovchansk for the fourth day, which took them "a few hours" to capture with a subsequent exit to the Kharkiv bypass road on February 24, 2022, Kyrychevsky explained.

He believes this is the effect of strengthening the Ukrainian defense and a "certain weakening" of the Russian army.

"The level of readiness for combat operations turned out to be higher than is now customary to say. The situation is complex and unpleasant. But better than it is usually portrayed. It is hard to say anything has changed strategically," he concluded.

The Maginot Line is a system of powerful fortifications more than 400 km long, built by France in 1929-1934 along the border with Germany. It was designed to protect the country in the event of war. In 1940, German troops simply bypassed the line through the Ardennes Forest and attacked northern France.

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