It’s a nice gray train that takes under four hours to cover the 500 kilometers from Kyiv to Kharkiv. But, on this morning of Sept. 9, the day after the extraordinary counteroffensive launched by President Volodymyr Zelensky, it’s almost empty. We are alone in our train car, along with the slight Ukrainian escort that has joined us in Lviv. Kharkiv station, in the dusty light of this prolonged summer, is also deserted. On first view, the city appears to be one of the most battered by the war. There were the bombings in March, when the Russians thought they could terrorize it and make it fold in three days. Those in May, when the Russians found themselves blocked in the northern suburbs and took their vengeance by blindly shooting up the apartment blocks. And…


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