There is little respite in victory for Ukrainian forces in the recently liberated Kupiansk. Russian shells still hit its pockmarked streets, marring the skyline with plumes of black smoke.
Intense damage is visible on nearly every building. A huge billboard with an image of a waving Russian flag stands next to the bridge that crosses the Oskil River in the city center, bearing the words, “We are one people with Russia!”
For now, the Ukrainian army has chased Russian forces over the bridge and appears to be building some momentum pushing across the eastern banks of the river towards Luhansk, a key separatist territory controlled by Moscow. CNN witnessed Ukrainian infantry returning from the eastern side on foot.
Yet inside this city, one of several in the eastern region of Kharkiv that have been liberated, are the telltale signs of a hellish occupation. A former police building was used as a vast detention center by the Russians, where at one point up to 400 prisoners were held in…