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March 25, 2023
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Swamps, forests and shelling: new year on Ukraine’s northern frontline

Amid talk of Russia reinvading from the north, volunteer units of the remote Sumy region represent the first line of defence

On New Year’s Eve in a patch of forest along the north-east border with Russia, a unit of Ukrainian territorial defence forces stood guard in their trenches.

Ukraine’s most senior defence officials have said they believe Russia will attempt a second invasion from the north in the next couple of months, using troops who have been training for the past three months since being mobilised in October. But the Ukrainian forces defending the border say the Russians will not be able to break through as they did in February, when the Sumy region had no defensive lines.

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