Russian forces pull back from Kharkiv: officials

Russian forces are pulling back from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv after strong opposition from the Ukrainian army, according to officials.

Ukrainian and Western leaders monitoring the situation told The New York Times that Russia is facing a military setback as Ukrainian troops fight back in Kharkiv.

Ukrainian officials predict that Russian troops will head southeast toward Izium, which Moscow’s forces overtook last month.

Officials say that the retreat from Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, will represent one of the largest blows to the Russian army since its retreat from Kyiv in April.

The news out of Kharkiv comes after Senate plans to provide $40 billion in aid to Ukraine were put on hold Thursday when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) objected to the bill.

Paul said he wanted to add more oversight to where the Ukraine aid is going, delaying the bill’s passage by at least a week.

Meanwhile, House Democrats wrote to social media companies calling for the preservation of images and videos potentially documenting war crimes perpetrated against Ukraine by the Russian army.

As Russia shrinks back from Kharkiv, the Kremlin has also responded to news that Finland is taking steps to join NATO, saying it sees the possibility of NATO expansion, specifically to neighboring Finland, as a threat.

“As we have said many times before, NATO expansion does not make the world more stable and secure,” said Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov, who claimed that Finland’s membership in NATO would “definitely” represent a threat to his country.

Tags Dmitry Peskov Kharkiv NATO Rand Paul Retreat russia ukraine Ukraine aid

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