Russia has withdrawn its military forces from the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that Russian troops that have pulled back will likely be deployed near the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. This move will form a protective block for Russia’s main troop concentration situated on its western flank that acts as its main supply route for operations in the area of Izyum.

According to Fox News, British military intelligence said Ukrainian forces are moving forward with their countermeasure attacks in northern Kharkiv that have resulted in the recapture of several towns nearing the Russian border. 

"Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the initial stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces following heavy losses," the Ministry continued. 

The city of Kharkiv is Ukraine’s second-largest city that is said to have an estimated population of about 1.5 million residents.

Intelligence experts also cited that the Kremlin has signaled its intent to put an end to its invasion of Ukraine as it plans to integrate the Kherson region. In an interview with journalists, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the residents of Kherson should decide for themselves if they ought to appeal for its integration into Russian territory.

Peskov also refused to entertain the possibility of a referendum, however, Defense Intelligence Agency officer Rebekah Koffler argued that Moscow will proceed with a referendum to enable them to provide legal grounds to justify the integration of Kherson. The integration of Kherson is known to be Moscow’s “special operation in Ukraine".

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also stated that the integration was deemed to stop western countries from undermining international law and pushing for a unipolar world. He continued by saying that Russia intends to protect its inhabitants of Donetsk and to ensure that it was made to keep the inhabitants of Donetsk and Lushank from the Kyiv neo-Nazi game.

The integration of Khmer will provide the Kremlin with its much-desired access to the Southern part of Ukraine providing Russia with a land bridge to Crimea.

A man walks near his house destroyed as a result of Russian troops shelling A man walks near his house destroyed as a result of Russian troops shelling in the village of Dergachi, near Kharkiv on April 4, 2022. - Russian shelling in Dergachi left at least three civilians dead and wounded seven, its mayor says. Photo by Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images