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Russian troops taking up positions on streets of Vovchansk, police chief says

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 15, 2024 11:38 AM 2 min read
Police officer Oleksii Kharkivskyi looks at smoke rising from a Russian glide bomb impact site in Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, on May 11, 2024. (Francis Farrell/The Kyiv Independent)
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Active battles are taking place in Vovchansk as Russian troops "take up positions on the streets of the city," Vovchansk Police Chief Oleksii Kharkivskyi said on social media on the morning of May 15.

Russia launched new offensive actions on May 10 in the north of Kharkiv Oblast toward Lyptsi and Vovchansk, a town located less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Russian border and around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the city of Kharkiv.

Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on May 14 that "active firefights are taking place on the northern outskirts of the city."

Kharkivskyi said that the police are still carrying out evacuations of the civilian population left in Vovchansk, but the situation is "extremely difficult."

"People, please evacuate," Kharkivskyi said. "We are helping everyone."

Syniehubov said on May 13 that around 200 to 300 people are thought to remain in Vovchansk, which had a population of almost 17,000 before the full-scale invasion began in 2022.

Almost 8,000 civilians have been evacuated from Kharkiv Oblast so far, including 2,202 residents of the Chuhuiv district, which encompasses Vovchansk.

The town was liberated in September 2022 during Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast.

Tamaz Gambarashvili, the head of Vovchansk City Military Administration, said on May 13 that the construction of fortifications around the town after its liberation had been "difficult" due to constant Russian shelling.

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
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