Kharkiv Front: U.S. Secretary of Defense Highlights Russian Advance Slowing Down

“That activity continues, but it’s slowed a bit,” he said.

by Sead Dedovic
Kharkiv Front: U.S. Secretary of Defense Highlights Russian Advance Slowing Down
© Kent Nishimura/Getty Images News

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has pleased many with the latest reports regarding the situation on the front lines in Ukraine. Namely, Russian forces broke through the lines in Kharkiv a few days ago with the intention to advance. However, judging by statements from U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the situation has calmed down, and the progress of the Russian army has been slowed. 

Ukrainian military and political leadership have been demanding a faster delivery from the US for days, emphasizing that in such a situation, they find it difficult to stand up to an opponent like Russia. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, has already stressed that the US must expedite the delivery of assistance in the form of weaponry if they want Ukraine to defend itself against the enemy.

“That activity continues, but it’s slowed a bit,” he said, as quoted by Defense News.

The Russians sought to exploit weaknesses in the Ukrainian defense with the intention to attack on May 10th. Ultimately, they did so and made significant progress. The Ukrainian army failed to defend, but fortunately for them, everything happened much further outside the city and several miles from the border. Austin explained why the Russians failed to advance further. 

The Ukrainians, in fact, made a smart move and strengthened their positions. They proved to be extremely prepared for Russia's attack and surprised their opponent. 

Another thing that changed the course of the war, at least regarding Kharkiv, is a change in policy by the US towards Ukraine. Namely, American authorities did not allow Ukrainians to fire American weapons at Russia, but they changed their stance, believing the previous situation was in favor of the Russians. Ukrainians now have a huge advantage, considering the approval. Austin emphasizes that Ukraine is only retaliating.

”If someone’s shooting at you, then certainly this gives them the opportunity to counter-fire,” Austin said.

Ukraine is now permitted to shoot across the border around Kharkiv, but it cannot use long-range weapons to target within Russia's territory.

Austin emphasized that their policy regarding long-range strikes into Russia has not changed. Americans do not want to create problems for themselves or the world, knowing that every move can provoke a reaction from the Russian leader, who often reacts impulsively, without much consideration for the consequences. Vladimir Putin is a well-known figure, and his political strategies are familiar to the world. 

He is someone who does not hesitate to make unexpected moves, all to gain advantage. This is also one of the reasons why the world is cautious and somewhat reserved at times when it comes to the war in Ukraine. Of course, if the Russian president continues with such policies and becomes even more radical, no one doubts that the world will respond in kind and retaliate with even stronger measures. No leader in history has been invincible, and neither will Putin be.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacts

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also confirmed that there will be no changes in the future, at least when it comes to approval from the US towards Ukraine, as well as relations between them. The Ukrainian leader has repeatedly thanked the US for the unwavering support it has provided since the beginning of the war. 

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy© Johannes Simon/Getty Images News

Zelenskyy is aware that without partners like the US, it would be almost impossible to achieve the war goal, which is to defend against the opponent, Russia. The Ukrainian president continues to lobby around the world, emphasizing that support for his country is crucial in these moments, just as it has been so far.

Ukrainians started to attack

The Ukrainians have already begun targeting targets inside Russia with US weapons, after the US gave approval for it. Russian intelligence officers and bloggers have confirmed such information, emphasizing that Ukrainians are using Himars rockets on the border territories of the Belgorod region. Let's remind ourselves that in previous weeks, the US supplied Ukraine with Himars rocket launcher systems, which have a range of 50 miles. They can also fire ATACMS rockets up to a distance of 200 miles. 

America is not the only one who has given permission to Ukrainians for such actions, as France, Finland, Germany, Denmark, and the UK have also given the same permission. The world has clearly stood against Russia, except for a few countries that support Putin. 

This war shows that only by joining forces can Ukrainians oppose Russia. Russia is a much larger military force, but even that doesn't help them at this moment, considering that Ukrainians have support from all sides. What must be imperative is that Ukrainians continue to receive equal support throughout the war, just as they have so far.