‘Letting them know we're here’: Ukrainian soldiers ready for Russian offensive on northern front

Ukraine endured a wave of strikes on Saturday, including a devastating hit on an apartment block in the city of Dnipro. This latest attack on Ukrainian civilians came as cross-border artillery fire continues to affect northern Ukraine. In areas the Russian army swept into in late February before being driven out a month later, Ukrainian forces have dug extensive trench networks as they brace for a potential renewed ground offensive. FRANCE 24’s Gulliver Cragg reports.

Russian forces left northern Ukraine's Sumy region in late March, but this part of the front line has never really gone quiet.

"There were 55 strikes on this region in the last 24 hours, including a couple on our sector," said Ukrainian soldier Andzhei.

"According to our intelligence [the Russians] are building up positions that they could later use for offensive actions on this position," added another Ukrainian soldier, Vadym. "So, they're preparing themselves and so are we, and we are ... letting them know that we're here,” Vadym continued.

They insisted that the bad news from Soledar has not affected their morale. "It doesn’t mean anything, our guys have shown that they are able to hold the line, but there’s no need for people to risk their lives unecessarily, in my opinion," Vadym said. "If we lose Soledar today we’ll get it back the day after tomorrow for sure."

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