It was approached by Russian troops shortly after the invasion started final Thursday, however for 3 days, Ukrainian forces held the Russians at bay.
Then, on Sunday, Russian troops entered town in response to the area’s governor, Oleh Synehubov.
What occurred subsequent provides clues to the fierce resistance Russian troopers are assembly in Ukraine’s cities and cities — and to why they haven’t but superior as rapidly as specialists initially feared they might.
“The Armed Forces of Ukraine are eliminating the enemy,” Synehubov reassured the residents of Kharkiv that day.
Movies uploaded to social media give a uncommon glimpse of the clashes on town’s streets.
One sequence of movies uploaded to social media present an try by a Russian unit to advance in the direction of an essential airfield and arms manufacturing facility within the northeast of Kharkiv. The airfield, on the Kharkiv State Plane Manufacturing Firm, is small — only a single runway — however is perhaps a helpful bridgehead for the Russians.
CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the movies.
The primary video, taken by a resident, reveals a convoy of Russian troops surrounding navy automobiles, creeping alongside a roadway that ends close to the airfield.
“There are two [military vehicles] so far as I can see,” somebody says within the video. “A 3rd one is crawling by with infantry with automated weapons, preparing.”
All of the sudden, gunfire is heard and seen. A Russian soldier kneels rapidly and fires a shoulder-launched rocket in the direction of the realm the place the gunfire seems to be coming from.
A second video, taken after the firefight, reveals the navy automobiles reversing in an obvious retreat. The Russian troops are seen huddled behind their automobiles.
A Reuters journalist who went to the situation after the firefight shot video exhibiting one of many Russian automobiles from the navy convoy deserted and a major quantity of blood staining the snow on the bottom close by.
The Reuters journalist spoke with a resident, recognized as Yevgeniy, who informed them that at the least one Russian soldier had been killed there.
“After we’ve killed this one the others run away,” Yevgeniy informed Reuters, pointing to a patch of blood within the snow. He tells the journalist there have been between 12 and 15 individuals within the group.
“They gained’t take Kharkiv,” he insists. “They’ve run again to the place they got here from. They don’t have good navigation you see. Nothing works for them. They got here and had been hiding behind the homes.”
The troops’ efforts to retreat seem to have been stopped by one other assault. A convoy of automobiles — of the identical kind as these seen within the earlier clips — is seen on fireplace in one other video.
“That is how we greet the b*tch Russian military,” somebody is heard shouting within the video. “Come right here and blindfold him. And this can occur to anybody who involves us right here on Kharkiv soil.”
It’s not potential to say definitively that the Russian vans seen on fireplace are the identical as these filmed attempting to succeed in the airport, however they’re in the identical location, are the identical kind, and bear the identical markings.
One other video apparently taken later on the website of the deserted navy convoy — the automobiles are now not on fireplace — reveals Ukrainian troops participating.
Amid the firefight, a Ukrainian soldier steps out from the wall and is seen firing a shoulder-launched rocket.
Watching the video, retired Gen. Mark Hertling, nationwide safety and navy analyst for CNN, mentioned the Ukrainian unit was outfitted with rocket-propelled grenades.
“You see that power, that small squad there of about 10 guys, the man up furthest away from us is repeatedly firing rocket-propelled grenades, he’s fired by my rely about 5 of them, he’s handing off the launcher to a different man, they’re reloading and he is able to shoot once more,” he mentioned.
“And everyone else, you take a look at the cool, calm, collected strategy by these troopers beneath fireplace, they’re not afraid, they’re able to kick some butt,” he added.
Later, one other video reveals Ukrainian troops across the convoy, showing to rummage by the deserted automobiles. Sporadic gunfire is heard and a few Ukrainian forces transfer alongside a wall within the background.
“Slava Ukraini,” says somebody within the video (“glory to Ukraine”).
However on Monday, Russian troops returned to the northeastern suburbs of Kharkiv and renewed their assault on town.
A number of social media movies geolocated by CNN present rockets exploding carefully collectively in a residential space of the Saltivka neighborhood, near a grocery store. One confirmed a rocket booster lodged on the street pavement, as civilians appeared on.
“It’s extra hellish in Kharkiv right this moment than it was yesterday,” mentioned Ukraine’s Prosecutor Common Iryna Venediktova, posting on Fb.
In keeping with Kharkiv Metropolis Council, the newest shelling left one feminine civilian useless, and 31 individuals — 15 servicemen and 16 civilians — wounded.
In current days, town council has recorded seven fatalities — two servicemen and 5 civilians — and 44 wounded, together with 20 servicemen.
“Kharkiv has simply been subjected to huge Grad shelling! Dozens of victims,” Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s Ministry of Inside Affairs, mentioned Monday describing the state of affairs there as “a nightmare.”
Russia maintains that it doesn’t goal civilians.