Russia intensifies its attacks over Kharkiv

Although Russia has announced in recent hours that its forces have taken control of five Kharkiv localities, the Ukrainian General Staff affirmed this morning that fighting continues.

Russian tanks.
Photo courtesy: Mstyslav Chernov

The Ukrainian Army announced this Saturday that Vladimir Putin’s troops have intensified their operations in the Kharkiv region with new assaults targeting seven localities in the area. Nearly 2,000 individuals have fled their homes amidst fresh clashes on the warfront, which has been the scene of over 120 Russian bombardments in recent hours.

The governor of the region, Oleg Sinegubov, reported via his Telegram channel that the current toll includes three deceased and several more injured. He also reported artillery and mortar shelling on Petropavlivka, Stepova Novoselivka, and Berestov, as well as aerial bombings on Hliboke, Lukiantsi, Ohirtseve, Vovchansk, Vovchanski Jutori, Vesele, Vilcha, Liptsi, Slobozhanske, Sosnovy Bir, and Ukrainsk.

Sinegubov added that Russia has ramped up its bombardments in the north overnight, particularly around Vovchansk.

The latest report from the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army, released this Saturday, confirms a new Russian offensive against the populations of Lipets and Vovchansk, along with additional skirmishes around the contested localities of Strelecha, Pylne, Borisivka, Oliinikovo, and Ohirtseve.

The head of the Reserve Council of the Ground Forces, Ivan Timochko, explained that the goal of this Russian offensive is to draw Ukrainian forces away, leaving other parts of the front unprotected, capitalizing on their capture of the strategic town of Avdiivka last February.

Governor Sinegubov indicated that, despite ongoing evacuations, there is still no reason to order a large-scale abandonment of the city. “We clearly understand what the enemy is executing in the north of our territory. There, of course, escalation and pressure may increase, but there are still no threats to Kharkiv,” he stated in comments collected by Ukrinform.

Although Russia has announced in recent hours that its forces have taken control of five Kharkiv localities (Borisovka, Ogurtsovo, Pletenevka, Pylnaya, and Strelechia), the Ukrainian General Staff affirmed this morning that fighting continues in each of them.

According to the press service of the General Staff, Russia has also carried out over 120 rocket attacks against Ukrainian positions throughout the last hours. In addition to Kharkiv, they also targeted the regions of Sumy and portions of Donetsk still under Ukrainian control. The attacks have impacted over a hundred localities in these regions, as well as Chernigov, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Mikolaiv.

Russian forces have made minor advances in this Ukrainian border area, which they invaded in 2022 and were later expelled from that same year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated on Friday that the new Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region had unleashed a “fierce battle.”

A Ukrainian military source also said that Russian forces had advanced one kilometer and were attempting to create a “security zone” in the Kharkiv and Sumy regions to prevent attacks against adjacent Russian territory.

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