Demonstration fortification in Kharkiv Oblast used for officials to take photos — MP

Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kharkiv Oblast on April 9
Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kharkiv Oblast on April 9

Fortifications in Kharkiv were not built everywhere they were supposed to be, said Mykhailo Bondar, a member of European Solidarity and the Temporary Investigation Commission on Construction of Fortifications and Purchase of Drones, on Radio NV on May 22.

"My colleagues recorded construction in the Sumy and Kharkiv directions before the last Russian attempts to break through," Bondar said on Radio NV.

"It turned out that even after that, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the same site. For example, some kind of demonstration fortification was built, and you could come there and take pictures, but that's where they actually took him. On the other hand, it was like this: something was started, something was built, something was done in a hurry to report, and in some places, there was nothing at all."

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He added that construction reports were not providing accurate information.

"Guys in these areas called and assured us that when they were maneuvering, when they had to reach the line where they were assured that fortifications were built, that there was a second line, they arrived to find half-built pits or even started digging immediately because there was basically nothing there," Bondar said.

Accusations about absence of fortifications in Kharkiv Oblast

Commander of an intelligence unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Denys Yaroslavskyi, stated on May 12 that street fighting was taking place in Vovchansk and added that there were no fortifications or mines on the border with Russia.

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According to him, "the enemy freely entered the 'gray zone' along the entire border line, which should not have been 'no man's land.'"

“In two years, there should have been concrete fortifications minus three floors on the Ukrainian border!" Yaroslavskyi wrote. "And there were not even mines. We are concluding that this is either a case of massive theft or deliberate sabotage! Now we are losing people and territory again, and we are doing what we did in September 2022."

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He added that the “125th brigade of Territorial Defense Forces (TDF), which abandoned their positions,” claimed they “were forced to sign acts of acceptance of fortifications that were not even 30% complete.”

In response, the command of the 125th Separate Territorial Defense Brigade called this statement “a case of Russian psyop.”

The 125th Territorial Defense Brigade stated that the situation in its defense zone is difficult but controlled, and its units “repel superior enemy forces, maintaining stability in combat orders.”

Read also: SBI opens case against 125th Brigade commanders

The Defense Ministry said that the best-equipped fortifications, which include reinforced concrete structures and premises for shelter and accommodation of the military, are located 17-35 kilometers from the front line. Fortifications in the foreground are being built exclusively by military units holding positions, without heavy equipment and civilian personnel due to constant shelling.

Tamaz Gambarashvili, the mayor of Vovchansk, said that fortifications had been built in Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, but it was difficult to build them due to constant Russian shelling.

When asked about preparations for a Russian offensive, the mayor assured that “everything was built, but perhaps not as tightly as needed.”

Kharkiv Oblast governor Oleh Synehubov said on May 15 that the tasks of building fortifications set by the military in 2023 were 100% completed in Kharkiv Oblast.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine