Friday, February 3

Russian Forces, Ukrainian Officials Notice A Rise In Both Withins Hailing From Kharkiv Since No Incidents Of Incursion Have Been Noticed.

The Russian military has stepped up shelling Ukraine’s Kharkiv, but ground forces who were supposed to storm the city’s fortifications opted not to do so.

According to Oleg Sinegubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration and the Ukrainian president’s office, shelling has intensified in the past 24 hours, particularly in northern regions. No deaths have been reported but some people have been injured, Sinegubov added. “On the line of contact in the Kharkiv region, the enemy is mainly focused on defense,” said Sinegubov. “Our defenders hold their positions firmly.” A CNN team in Kharkiv city heard several explosions Sunday night and Monday morning but noted that there was only a slight increase in the level of activity compared with previous nights.


Some background:

Amnesty International has accused Russia of war crimes in Kharkiv in a 40-page report published last week. The report documented alleged use of cluster munitions and other indiscriminate means of artillery.

A report surfaced on Friday that two American volunteers fighting for Ukraine were being held in custody by Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region of Donetsk. The men, Alexander John-Robert Drueke, 39, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, were interviewed by Russia’s RT channel at an internment center in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Friday after being captured last week. On Friday, short video clips surfaced on pro-Russian channels and social media appearing to show the men detained at an unknown location. At that time it was not clear who was holding them. Separately, a more than 50-minute edited video was published on Saturday of Drueke and Huynh being interviewed by HelmCast, a pro-Russian Serbian nationalist YouTube channel. The DPR did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the detention of Drueke and Huynh.

CNN is choosing to not disclose to the press the recordings of US detainees, as they contain phrases of unlawful force made by these men.

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