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Governor fears Russia may renew attack in another direction in Kharkiv Oblast

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 29, 2024 10:28 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian military personnel fire artillery on the front line as the Russia's war against Ukraine continues in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, on Oct. 27, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russian forces may undertake attacks in the northwestern part of Kharkiv Oblast, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov told journalists on May 29.

Moscow launched a new offensive on May 10 in northern Kharkiv Oblast. Moscow's forces had reportedly managed to advance as far as 10 kilometers (6 miles) into the region but had been halted by the first line of defense.

Russia is moving up its reserves in the Lyptsi, Vovchansk, and Kupiansk directions "to maintain the offensive momentum," Syniehubov said. Urban combat is reportedly ongoing in the town of Vovchansk.

Ukrainian forces controlled about 60% of the town as of May 20, Deputy Kharkiv Oblast Governor Roman Semenukha said. Vovchansk is described by Ukrainian officials as almost destroyed, while Russia keeps attacking other neighboring settlements, inflicting civilian casualties.

“The enemy is trying to move deeper into our territory, but has not succeeded,” the governor said.

Local authorities are also watching the situation in the Bohodukhiv direction, in the northwestern part of the oblast, according to Syniehubov.

“Russian forces may intensify their actions in that area as well, and we are monitoring their behavior. We will take all measures, including evacuation of the population.”

Moscow is forming another grouping of forces near Ukraine's northern border, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 26. The Ukrainian military did not rule out a similar Russian offensive in Sumy Oblast.

Russia’s latest offensive into Kharkiv Oblast is stretching Ukrainian defenses
Russia’s two-pronged assault in Kharkiv Oblast that began on May 10 is exploiting Ukraine’s troop shortage, forcing it to make difficult decisions about where to commit reserves. Two weeks into the offensive, one group of Russian forces is already fighting in the streets of the town of Vovchansk
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