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Budanov expects Russia to launch new attack on Sumy Oblast

by Kateryna Denisova May 14, 2024 10:41 AM 2 min read
Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine's commander in chief, during the 'Ukraine. Year 2024' forum in Kyiv, Ukraine. Feb. 25, 2024. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov expects that after Ukrainian forces stabilize the front in Kharkiv Oblast, Russia will launch a new attack in Sumy Oblast, the New York Times (NYT) reported on May 14.

Russian troops launched a new wave of attacks on May 10, mainly focusing on border settlements in Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukraine's General Staff said on May 13 that Russia had "tactical success" in the fight for Vovchansk, a town just a few kilometers south of the Russo-Ukrainian border. Urban combat was ongoing in the northern outskirts of the town, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

"The situation is on the edge. Every hour this situation moves toward critical," Budanov told the NYT on May 13 in a video call from a bunker in Kharkiv.

The military intelligence chief nevertheless believes that the Russian assault in Kharkiv Oblast will continue for another three or four days and that the Ukrainian military will be able to strengthen its positions and stabilize the front in the region.

"After which Russian forces are expected to make a hard push in the direction of Sumy, a city about 90 miles to the northwest of Kharkiv," the NYT wrote, citing Budanov.

Russia’s new Kharkiv offensive pushes Vovchansk to the brink of annihilation
VOVCHANSK, KHARKIV OBLAST – The glide bombs arrive in groups of three. Their flight can be heard from far away, but only in the last second before impact is it clear where it will hit. The explosions, orders of magnitude more powerful than regular artillery shells, shake the ground where the

Budanov's words echoed the statement of Vadym Skibitsky, a military intelligence deputy head, who suggested that a Russian offensive around northeastern Sumy and Kharkiv oblasts may begin at the end of May or early June.

Russian strikes against Sumy Oblast have become increasingly destructive in recent months. Amid intensified attacks, Ukrainian authorities ordered further evacuations from the region.

Pavlo Velychko, a Ukrainian officer serving near the Russian border in Sumy Oblast, told the NYT that he did not know if this meant anything in terms of a potential Moscow offensive.

"In any case we are in full combat readiness," he said.

Budanov said earlier that Ukraine should expect to face a renewed Russian offensive in late spring or early summer, with the offensive intensifying around eastern Donbas region.

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