BRUSSELS    -   US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send reinforce­ments to Ukraine’s Kharkiv region underlined the huge losses Russia’s forces are taking in its war.

“There are a huge number of Rus­sian forces that are in Ukraine and unfortunately, tragically, horrifi­cally President Putin has demon­strated that he will throw a lot of people into this at huge cost to Russia, at huge cost to its future,” he said.

Blinken was speaking to reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels af­ter talks with the Western alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, one day after the chief US diplomat had visited Kyiv.

Earlier, Russian news agencies had reported that Moscow’s forces were redeploying to the Kharkiv region in response to a large-scale Ukrainian counter-offensive.

The TASS and RIA Novosti news agencies shared video from Rus­sia’s defence ministry, showing the movement of military hard­ware on a paved road, some with Russian flags and bearing the let­ter “Z”, a symbol of Russia’s mili­tary campaign.

Local Moscow-installed official Vi­taliy Ganchev said in televised re­marks that “fierce battles” were un­der way near Balakliya, a town in Kharkiv region that Ukraine said it had recaptured on Thursday.