Ukrainian Forces Assert Control Over Area in Kharkiv Region Previously Occupied by Russian: Zelenskiy

World Defense

Ukrainian Forces Assert Control Over Area in Kharkiv Region Previously Occupied by Russian: Zelenskiy

Conflicting reports emerge as Ukrainian forces secure control in Kharkiv region amidst ongoing clashes with Russian troops. Situation remains fluid as both sides engage in combat operations.

On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced that Ukrainian forces had gained "combat control" over areas in the northern Kharkiv region, where Russian troops had previously staged an incursion. Zelenskiy made this statement during his nightly video address following a meeting with military and regional officials in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.

"Our soldiers have now managed to take combat control of the border area where the Russian occupiers entered," Zelenskiy said. This statement seems to contrast with claims made by Russian officials.

Viktor Vodolatskiy, a member of Russia's State Duma, told the Tass news agency that Russian forces controlled more than half of Vovchansk, a town located 5 km (three miles) inside the Ukrainian border. He also mentioned that once Vovchansk was secured, Russian forces planned to target Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Pokrovsk in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region.

Neither side's battlefield accounts could be independently verified by Reuters.

Earlier this month, Russian forces entered border areas of the Kharkiv region, and Russia's Defence Ministry claimed control over approximately 12 settlements. In response, Zelenskiy and other Ukrainian officials have reported successes in "stabilizing" these areas.

The Ukrainian military's General Staff reported that the situation in Vovchansk remains "tense but controlled by the defense forces." The General Staff also noted that Russian forces launched airstrikes on Vovchansk, with eight guided bombs hitting the town. Additionally, attacks were reported on at least two other settlements north of Kharkiv.

A late-night report from the General Staff indicated that Ukrainian forces had repelled 10 Russian attacks around Vovchansk. The report also mentioned that Russian forces had achieved "partial success" near Kupiansk, further east in the Kharkiv region, and in the Pokrovsk sector in the Donetsk region, where heavy fighting continues.

Ukrainian military bloggers reported that Ukrainian troops were holding their ground around Vovchansk. They noted that Russian forces were relying more on distant firing rather than direct infantry assaults, resulting in limited accuracy.

The conflict in the Kharkiv region is part of the broader struggle in Ukraine, which has seen significant battles in both the eastern and southern parts of the country. The Kharkiv region, bordering Russia, has been a focal point of military actions since the beginning of the conflict.

In recent months, Ukrainian forces have been making efforts to regain and stabilize territories previously occupied by Russian forces. This includes not only direct military engagements but also addressing the humanitarian needs of affected civilians in these areas.

The ongoing conflict has led to extensive destruction and displacement, with both sides experiencing significant casualties. International organizations continue to call for a peaceful resolution and emphasize the need for humanitarian aid to support those impacted by the war.

The situation remains fluid, with both Ukrainian and Russian forces continuing to engage in combat operations across various fronts in Ukraine. The international community closely monitors these developments, seeking ways to mediate and provide support to alleviate the suffering caused by the conflict.

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