June 16, 2024

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Why kyiv expects Russia to continue its attack on the city of Kharkiv

Why kyiv expects Russia to continue its attack on the city of Kharkiv

Fighting in northeastern Ukraine intensified after the Russian offensive began on May 10. Moscow claims to have captured a dozen villages in the region in a week.

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Residents look to the sky after a Russian bombing in Kharkiv, Ukraine on May 17, 2024.  (NARCISO CONTRERAS/ANADOLU/AFP)

Since May 10, Moscow has been waging a major offensive in the Kharkiv region near the border between Ukraine and Russia. Speaking to AFP on Friday, May 17, Volodymyr Zelensky said he expected the offensive to extend to the north and east of the country. “They have started their operation, which may have many waves, this is their first wave”.On Friday, Ukraine promised the president of Russia’s biggest territorial gains from the end of 2022.

What will the next wave of Russian aggression in the region consist of? Volodymyr Zelensky says the Kremlin wants to launch an attack on the country’s second city, Kharkiv, even though he believes Russia lacks the power to launch a ground attack against the capital, Kew. “They love it, they love to attack”warned that

The city is located in the northeast of Ukraine, a few dozen kilometers from the front. On Friday, Vladimir Putin, who was on a state visit to China, assured that Russia does not currently intend to attack Kharkiv. “Currently we do not have this plan”He said during a press conference.

However, the advance of Russian troops continued unabated in the region since May 10. Friday, Russia He claimed to have captured 12 Ukrainian villages in the area. On the same day, Kiev confirmed that Russian forces were destroying the town of Vovsansk, northeast of Kharkiv, home to about 20,000 people.

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Another part of the region was captured by the Russians on Saturday. “Units of the Northern Group liberated the village of Staritsa in the Kharkiv region and advanced deep into the enemy’s defensive positions”, the Russian Defense Ministry commented. Staritsa is a town located fifteen kilometers from Vovsansk and about 45 km from the entrance to Kharkiv.

A little further to the west, Russian forces advanced on a second axis of attack in the region. They are targeting the village of Lugyantsi to open a route to Liptsi, another area twenty kilometers from the entrance to Kharkiv.

Hostilities continue in Lugyanci., said Oleg Sinekopov, governor of the Kharkiv region, on Friday morning. Oleg Synegoubov added that in response to this Russian attack, Ukraine has evacuated nearly 10,000 people from the region since May 10.

According to the regional governor, “There were two enemy attempts to break through the defenses of our troops in the Kharkiv direction Hlibok-Lipsi and Bukruvatka-Staritsa”. “Situation under control of security forces”He promised in a telegram on Saturday.

Despite the Kremlin’s denials, Ukraine is gearing up for a critical battle to defend the industrial city of Kharkiv. About 1.1 million people. In his interview with AFP, Volodymyr Zelensky promised that a battle for control of the city, should it happen, would be difficult for the Russian military. “They understand it’s an uphill battle. It’s a big city, we have troops, and they understand that they’re going to fight for a long time.”.

Waiting to get closer, Moscow bombed the city again on Friday. At least three people died and 28 were injured in the strikes, according to a final report issued by Mayor Igor Derekov in the evening.

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Moscow had already failed to take this highly strategic city in the first year of the war. In September of the same year, after a swift counterattack by Ukraine, Russian forces were able to advance to the gates of the metropolis in February 2022 before pushing the enemy back. The forward then settled in the east of the country.

Almost two years later, Ukraine again called on Western capitals for help in an attempt to drive out Russian forces, lamenting the slow delivery of equipment. New Western arms deliveries could take months, and risks remain “Advances” Russians in some sectors, Volodymyr Zelensky told AFP.

“Russia is strong, we suffer from a lack of military aid, which should compensate for the heroism and sacrifice of our soldiers”, hammered Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba during a video conference in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday. At the same time, Kyiv is struggling to mobilize new soldiers to help a tired army that benefits Moscow.