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Russia has an apparently limited offensive underway in directions toward Kharkov, with some Russian forces having come across the border from Belgorod and others westward from Lugansk. Estimates of the number of Russian troops involved range from 35,000 to 70,000—not enough to attack Ukraine’s second-largest city, but with the objective to clear the Russian border north of Kharkov of Ukrainian forces able to make attacks on Belgorod.

The New York Times says Russian forces continued today seizing small settlements along the border with Russia, and Ukrainian military said its troops had withdrawn from some positions. Towns on the outskirts of Kharkov are now threatened according to “aid workers.” The paper quoted a video statement by a Ukrainian special forces unit, “Today, during heavy fighting, our defenders were forced to withdraw from a few more of their positions, and … another settlement has come completely under Russian control.”

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