Ukrainian officers face probe over failures in Russian advance

Kyiv:  Some 28 Ukrainian commanders are facing a criminal investigation over military failures at the start of Russia’s recent offensive near Kharkiv. Ukraine’s State Investigation Bureau has launched an investigation, Ukrainian media reported on Saturday. The officers are accused of failing to properly organise the defence of Ukraine’s border with Russia. The proceedings were entered into the official court register. After the Russian attack in the area on May 10, the Ukrainian army had to evacuate its forward positions and several villages, with high losses of soldiers and materials. The 28 officers under investigation are reportedly from the command level of the 125th Brigade, the 415th Rifle Battalion and the 23rd Mechanized Brigade and other units. After the first retreat from the Russian offensive, the Ukrainian army command replaced the commanding general in the area. The governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov, had construction companies report to him about why fortifications were not built as ordered. Ukrainian forces were only able to slow the Russian troop advance after days, though heavy fighting on the new front continued. On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian army had regained control in the area. Military experts say the new Russian attack is intended to tie up Ukrainian forces and push Russian artillery forward to within firing range of the major city of Kharkiv. IANS/DPA

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