Videos uploaded to social media paint a rare picture of clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces on the streets of Kharkov in northeastern Ukraine.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has been the target of frequent Russian military attacks since the invasion began early Thursday morning. Now it is the place where fierce street fighting takes place as the Russian army tries to take control of the city.
A series of videos uploaded to social media shows an attempt by a Russian unit to advance towards a key airport and weapons factory in northeast Kharkov. The airport of the Kharkiv State Aircraft Manufacturing Company is small – just a single runway – but could be a useful beachhead for the Russians.
DailyExpertNews has located and verified the authenticity of the videos.
The first video, shot by a resident, shows a convoy of Russian troops encircling military vehicles, crawling along a roadway that ends at the airport.
“There are two [military vehicles] as far as I can tell,” someone in the video says. “A third crawls through with infantry brandishing automatic rifles.”
Suddenly, gunshots are heard and seen.
A Russian soldier is quickly kneeled and a shoulder-fired missile is fired toward the area where the gunfire appears to be coming from.
A second video, shot after the firefight, shows the military vehicles backing up in an apparent retreat. The Russian troops can be seen crouching behind their vehicles.
A Reuters journalist was at the scene after the firefight and recorded video showing one of the Russian military convoy vehicles had been left behind and a significant amount of blood staining the snow on the ground. The Reuters journalist spoke to a resident identified as Yevgeniy, who told them that at least one Russian soldier had been killed.
“After we kill this one, the others run away,” Yevgeniy told Reuters, pointing to a bloody stain in the snow. “It was about 12-15 people. That’s it… They won’t take Kharkiv. They walked back to where they came from. They don’t have good navigation you see. Nothing works for them. They came and were hiding behind the houses,” Yevgeniy said.
Their attempts to retreat seem to have been stopped by another attack. Another video shows a convoy of vehicles of the same type on fire.
“And that’s how we meet the b**** Russian army,” someone is heard shouting in the video. “So it will be for every one of those who come to our country in Kharkov.”
It is not possible to be absolutely sure that the Russian trucks on fire are the same as the trucks trying to reach the airport, but they are in the same location, are of the same type and have the same markings.
Another video shot at the site of the abandoned military convoy – the vehicles are no longer on fire – shows Ukrainian troops intervening.
“Give it all to them,” a voice shouts repeatedly in the video.
Amid the firefight, a Ukrainian soldier steps out of the wall and sees a missile fired at the shoulder.
Later, another video shows Ukrainian troops around the convoy, who appear to be snooping through the abandoned vehicles. There is sporadic gunfire and some Ukrainian troops move along a wall in the background.
“Slava Ukraini”, someone says in the video – “Glory to Ukraine.”
“That’s how we meet the Russian world,” said another person. “This will be the same with everyone who will come stomping on our Kharkiv’s land! There you go with your Russian-Russian letters ‘Z!’ Everyone gets the same.”