And that is a kind of logical move - the population there is openly hostile, it can be easily checked on most of the presented materials out there.
Charkov will be taken.
Sumy is a question mark to me.
We have not considered one factor here, or correct me if I am wrong.
Ukraine lost several millions of its inhabitants after 2014, and millions of them left for Russia.
That was a pro-Russian population who did not accept the coup.
That alone drained the sentiments at a significant level because people were voting with their choices.
If one looks at the materials made on the ground, the area unconquered in the south and east presents a very old population. Most of the people taken out of shelters are pensioners, and old people. The proportion is really weird there, considering any normal society. That is because the younger population left. That is today's reality for Ukraine. It is a socially drained country, where the population that left hardly represents the proRussian sentiments that were wide&common 8 years ago.