On the Ground

Russia’s glide bombs are devastating Ukraine’s border towns – but residents are digging in

Askold Krushelnycky travels between the cities of Sumy and Kharkiv, dodging craters left by Moscow’s onslaught. He speaks to residents who say the Kremlin will never drive them out, despite trying to bomb the area into an uninhabitable 'grey zone'

Friday 12 April 2024 09:54 BST
A Ukrainian serviceman prepares a shell with the inscription ‘for Kharkiv’
A Ukrainian serviceman prepares a shell with the inscription ‘for Kharkiv’ (Reuters)

Driving from the northwestern Ukrainian city of Sumy to Kharkiv, around 177km south (110 miles), along a road that roughly parallels the border with Russia, the damage from Moscow's relentless bombardment is stark.

The road is scarred by potholes and craters from shells, rockets and bombs – with the remaining asphalt, churned up by heavy military vehicles.

This is agricultural country. In some fields Ukrainian soldiers are building bunkers and defences of razor wire and concrete “dragon’s teeth” – to ensnare tanks. In others, tractors drive on freshly-ploughed soil for planting with wheat, sunflowers, rape seed and other crops.

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