It is a video with symbolic power that should not be underestimated, which the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense published on Monday night: it shows dozens of soldiers on the border with Russia. The video is difficult to verify, but it can be assumed that the recording is real. Because the development was indicated.

Last week it was said that the Ukrainian soldiers had worked their way up to ten kilometers from the border. This was preceded by the recapture of numerous suburbs of the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, some of which had been occupied by the Russians since the end of February. The border is about 40 kilometers from the city center on the shortest route.

The Ukrainians apparently pushed the Russians around Kharkiv far back in their advance. According to a Bundeswehr situation report on Thursday, quoted by “Business Insider”, the Russian soldiers had to dodge to within five to ten kilometers of the Ukrainian-Russian border. The Ukrainian soldiers are “approaching or reaching the Ukrainian-Russian border,” it says.

Not far from the border is the important Russian military base for the offensive in southern and eastern Ukraine, the Belgorod base of operations. This is where the soldiers who have been withdrawn from other parts of the country gather and are made fit to fight again. 2,500 reservists are currently training there in order to be sent into combat, as the US think tank “Institute for the Study of War” reports.

Accordingly, the Russian commander also decided to move forces from the Donbass to the Kharkiv area in order not to lose the supply axis from Belgorod to Izyum.

The aim is “probably not to fundamentally secure the offensive of the Ijum axis, but to strengthen Russian forces in the north of Kharkiv in order to prevent the Ukrainian counter-offensive, which has been successful for days, from expanding in the direction of the Ukrainian-Russian border,” says the Bundeswehr situation report .

This seems to have solved the Russian dilemma of whether to concentrate first on northern Kharkiv or continue with the offensive in the Donbass. Ukraine can look back on this as a major interim success. The plan to defend itself with smaller attacks on larger terrain is currently working.

Because without the Belgorod-Isjum axis, Russia cannot win the supposedly decisive battle in the Donbass, experts have agreed for weeks. For weeks, the Ukrainian armed forces have been able to stop or even destroy Russian convoys that are important for supplies. First with air attacks from a long distance, through the conquests, the Ukrainians can continue to reduce the radius.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces respond to the Ukrainian counter-offensive by shelling the soldiers where they are closest to their axis. In north-east Kharkiv, Ukrainian soldiers are said to have already pushed the Russians back 60 kilometers from the city and are threatening the axis near Volchansk, in the immediate vicinity of the border.

It is not known whether the Ukrainian soldiers reached the border there. The only thing that is certain is that Russia will do everything in its power to put down the counter-offensive in the direction of Belgorod and the axis to the Donbass as quickly as possible. Because soldiers who are redistributed are consequently missing in the Donbass.

According to the “Institute for the Study of War”, it is also questionable whether the 2,500 reservists who are to be sent from Belgorod to the south and east of Ukraine can compensate for the losses that the Russians have suffered in recent weeks. In some areas, losses are said to be as much as 20 percent of the original troop strength.

Also, there are doubts about how helpful the reservists are. Ukrainian intelligence reports that Russia is likely to send the reservists into combat before they have had enough training to fight effectively. After all, time is of the essence – as the Ukrainian video on the border with Russia shows.