Ukraine struggling in the northeast

Ukraine struggling in the northeast
Ukraine struggling in the northeast

Ukraine said on Friday that Russian forces were destroying the city of Vovchansk, and continued to advance into the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Moscow launched a new large-scale assault on 10 may.
Russian President Vladimir Putin justified this offensive on Friday by claiming to respond to Ukrainian strikes in recent months on Russian territory. According to him, his forces are advancing “as planned”.

But Ukraine still launched, according to Moscow, around a hundred drone attacks against several Russian regions and the occupied Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, killing two people and leading to power outages and fires on Russian energy infrastructure.

The governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleg Synegubov, indicated during a briefing that the Ukrainian forces had so far failed to stop the adversary.

“The enemy has started destroying Vovchansk, using tanks and artillery. It’s not just dangerous to be there, it’s practically impossible,” he said.
Some 200 civilians remain there, according to the same Source, while the town, located around fifty kilometers from the regional capital Kharkiv, had around 18,000 inhabitants before the war.

The Russian army has often ended up destroying Ukrainian cities in order to conquer them, like Bakhmout last year or Avdiïvka in February, by resorting to massive bombardments to drive out the defenders.
A little further west, Russian forces have advanced on their second axis of assault in the region. They are targeting the village of Loukiantsi, to open the way to Lyptsi, another locality on the road to Kharkiv.

“Hostilities continue in Loukiantsi. Yes, there is an enemy advance in this locality. But our soldiers are still trying to hold this locality and destroy the occupier’s forces,” he said.
The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Oleksandr Syrsky, indicated on Telegram that Russian forces had “extended the active combat zone by 70 kilometers”.

“We must prevent any further advance,” he insisted, vowing to use “air strikes, missiles, artillery, tanks to inflict maximum losses.”

Russia launched a surprise offensive through northern Ukraine on May 10, extending the front at a time when Ukraine was on the defensive in the east and south, amid a shortage of men and ammunition. .

In total, some 9,300 civilians were evacuated. kyiv, however, accuses Moscow of using civilians as “human shields” in Vovchansk and of having committed, at least, one summary execution.

Moscow has made its largest territorial gains since the end of 2022, with some 257 km2 conquered in the Kharkiv region alone, according to an AFP analysis on Thursday based on data provided by the American Institute for the Study of War ( ISW).

President Putin justified the attack on Friday by the need to create a buffer zone to prevent Ukrainian forces from striking the neighboring Russian region of Belgorod, even as kyiv began bombing Russian territory in response to the multiple attacks that are causing mourning daily. Ukrainian towns and villages for more than two years.

“I said publicly that if this continued, we would be forced to create a security zone, a health zone. This is what we are doing,” he declared during a press conference from Harbin , in China, where he is visiting.
He denied targeting the capture of Kharkiv, the country’s second city that the Russian army had failed to conquer in 2022. “Regarding (the conquest, Editor’s note) of Kharkiv, we do not have this project at the moment current,” said the man who had also denied planning an invasion of Ukraine.

Finally, he affirmed that his troops were progressing “every day” and “as planned”.
Furthermore, Russian authorities said they faced an attack by around a hundred drones from Ukraine during the night from Thursday to Friday.

The governor of the Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine, announced overnight the death of a mother and her four-year-old child during an attack that hit the village of Oktyabrski.

In the Krasnodar region (southwest), local authorities claimed on Telegram that two Ukrainian drones had struck and set fire to a refinery in Tuapse, on the edge of the Black Sea, without causing any casualties. In this same region, “civil infrastructure” was hit and caught fire in Novorossiysk, a large port on the Black Sea, according to the governor.

In Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Russia, the city of Sevastopol, headquarters of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea, was partly deprived of power because an electrical substation was damaged, according to local authorities.

A Source within the Ukrainian Defense confirmed to AFP that these strikes had been carried out by the SBU and the GUR, two intelligence services.

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