Explaining complex things in simple words: Defense of Kharkiv region, Russian nuclear blackmail, situation with POWs

Explaining complex things in simple words: Defense of Kharkiv region, Russian nuclear blackmail, situation with POWs

The Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security pursues efforts to provide a brief explanation to foreign audiences on the current topics of particular interest as regards Ukraine.  


Russian troops continue to pressurize the north of the Kharkiv region.

  • Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine, an industrial and scientific center, a humanitarian, and a logistics hub that ensures the stability of Ukrainian positions in the east.
  • Russians are not able to capture Kharkiv, but due to its proximity to the Russian border, they shell and destroy the city in order to make life in it unbearable.
  • The defense of Kharkiv is critical for the defense of Ukraine. That is why strengthening the air defense in the city is one of the primary tasks.
  • Effective defense of Kharkiv is also impossible without effective damage to the concentration points and logistics of the aggressor group, operating in the Kharkiv direction. And these targets are on the territory of the Russian Federation.
  • Therefore, for the effective protection of Kharkiv, it is critically necessary to cancel the unjustified ban on the use of effective Western weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation.
  • Currently, this ban creates an opportunity for the aggressor to attack across the state borderline with impunity, which Russia can use not only in Kharkiv region, but also in Sumy region. 


Russian exercises on the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons are held in the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation, in proximity to the borders of Ukraine.

  • Ukraine monitors the Russian exercises progress. Despite the Kremlin’s belligerent rhetoric, nothing ‘’non-standard’’ or threatening is currently observed.
  • This is a standard scare tactic that Russia resorts to whenever something threatens its plans to wage an aggressive war.
  • The main reason for nuclear blackmail this time is the resumption of U.S. military aid for Ukraine, as well as discussions about the possibility of lifting the ban on the use of Western weapons on the territory of the Russian Federation and sending foreign troops to Ukraine.
  • Kremlin's nuclear blackmail no longer affects Ukrainians. We have no choice but to continue to defend and inflict losses on the enemy.
  • We urge partners not to give in to blackmailers either. Nuclear terrorists should be put in their place, not their whims followed. 


Russian propaganda returned to manipulations on the topic of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

  • Russian statements about Ukraine's reluctance to carry out prisoner exchanges, or about its alleged interest only in certain categories of prisoners (in particular, ‘’Azovians’’) are another cynical Russia’s lie.
  • Ukraine is ready for exchanges at any time and in any format. The exchange of ‘’all for all’’ is one of the Ukrainian ‘’Peace Formula’’ points. As a result of the negotiations, 51 exchanges have already been carried out, and 3,135 prisoners of war have been returned from captivity.
  • It is the Russian side that is hindering the intensification of the exchange process. Thus, the Russian purpose is to increase tension in Ukrainian society and attempt to discredit the Ukrainian authorities.
  • Using prisoners of war as hostages is pure terrorism on the Kremlin’s part. In addition, Russia replenishes its ‘’exchange fund’’ at the expense of civilians abducted on the TOT, which is a war crime under the Geneva Convention.
  • Russia does not allow representatives of the ICRC to visit the prisoners’ detention places, hides information about persons who are considered missing, and ignores calls to return the bodies of the dead, in particular those who were allegedly on board the downed Il-76.

Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security

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