The front, already more than 1000 kilometers long, has been extended by around sixty kilometers, with the launch of a new Russian operation in the north of the Kharkiv region. Last Friday, exactly a week ago, the Russians launched an offensive in this oblast whose capital is Ukraine’s second largest city, located just 30 kilometers from the Russian border. Since then, the Russian army has conquered a little more than 200 square kilometers and is advancing towards the two small towns of Lyptsi and Volchansk, where fighting is taking place.

This Friday, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia did not wish to conquer the city of Kharkiv itself. But then, what are the objectives of this Russian operation? There are probably three of them: creating a buffer zone on the Russian border to protect Belgorod; advance towards Kupiansk to create a balcony above the Donbass; disperse Ukrainian reserves to further wear down the adversary. The Kharkiv offensive is part of a conflict which has become a war of attrition and whose heart remains the Donetsk oblast.

With video and supporting maps, Le Figaro gives you an overview of this new Russian spring offensive and the war aims that it reveals.