Ukraine’s defence lines stretched as Russian troops close in

Russian forces have penetrated this border area north of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.

The heavy thuds of artillery grow louder when we arrive at their position, just a mile from the front line.

We run past a smouldering fire towards a bunker, where we are told to take cover.

In the dank, gloomy basement, a group of soldiers are watching a drone feed. They’re directing Ukrainian artillery fire towards a tree line.

Andrii tells me the situation: “It’s dynamic and tense and hard to predict.”

We’ve been told we can’t stay for long. Even underground you can hear the explosions.

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I ask Andrii whether he and his men’s arrival on this front is making a difference.

“Relatively, but it’s always hard to get involved in someone else’s defence lines because there’s no proper interaction, with other units,” he replies.

But he understands the importance of their task and why the Russians have opened this new front.

“They want to pull our forces from defence lines in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. It was just a question of time. The Russians always use mean tactics,” he says.

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