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General Staff: Battle for Vovchansk ongoing, Russia achieving 'tactical success'

by Dmytro Basmat May 13, 2024 2:21 AM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. People go shopping for food along houses destroyed by mortar attacks on Nov. 8, 2023, in Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine. (Eugene Hertnier/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Fighting is ongoing for Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast, as Ukrainian troops are attempting to fend off Russia's attempt to capture the city, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported on May 13.

"At the moment, the enemy has tactical success" in the fight for Vovchansk, the General Staff said in a statement on social media.

In recent days, Vovchansk has become a key target of Russia’s new offensive, as Russia launched an attempt on May 10 to break through in Kharkiv Oblast.

The General Staff said it is mounting a defensive operation to halt Russian advances that have breached Ukraine's defenses. Additional reserves are being deployed to the area in order to "stabilize the situation."

"Our defenders are conducting defensive operations, inflicting fire damage on the enemy, widely using unmanned systems for reconnaissance and pinpoint strikes to inflict maximum losses."

Ukraine's General Staff said that over 100 Russian soldiers have been killed throughout the day on May 12 amid heavy fighting for the city. Upwards of five Russian battalions are currently attempting to advance on the city.

General Staff reported on May 10 that Ukrainian defenders were fighting off Russian forces in the Lyptsi and Vovchansk directions in the north of Kharkiv Oblast.

There are ongoing battles for "gray zone" border settlements of Strilecha, Pylne, and Borysivka, as well as in the sectors of Oliinykove and Ohirtseve, the General Staff said. The aforementioned settlements lie along Kharkiv Oblast's border with Russia.

"The operational situation remains difficult and dynamically changing in the direction of Kharkiv," the General Staff reported on May 13.

Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov said that 1,600 people were evacuated from the area in and around Vovchansk on May 12, with almost 6,000 residents being evacuated over the past few days.

Vovchansk was previously liberated from Russian occupation during Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in September 2022.

Civilians flee Vovchansk under Russian bombardment as ground offensive on Kharkiv begins
Vovchansk is ground zero of Russia’s new offensive into Kharkiv Oblast, the first time a serious push has been made to take territory across the border since the area was liberated from Russian occupation in 2022.
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