Ukraine continues to withdraw troops in Kharkiv, warning of the risk of Russia attacking the neighboring province

May 15, 2024

Kharkiv [Ukraine], May 15: A Russian cross-border offensive in Sumy would likely further stretch Ukraine 's already depleted defenses , after Moscow's ground troops entered Kharkiv and opened a new front in northeast Ukraine. on May 10, forcing Kyiv to urgently reinforce.
"In certain areas of Lukyantsi and Vovchansk, units have moved to more favorable positions in the face of intense enemy fire and attack, in order to preserve the lives of our soldiers." and avoid losses," the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army said about the situation in Kharkiv late on May 14, according to Reuters.
In addition to destroying infrastructure and dealing a blow to Ukrainian morale in Kharkiv, home to Ukraine's second-largest provincial city of the same name, the Russian attack also distracted Kyiv from defense operations. defense in the east, where Moscow has been focusing its attacks for months.
Ukrainian military intelligence leader Kyrylo Budanov said Moscow had mobilized all troops in the border area for the operation in Kharkiv, but they also had other reserve forces that he expected to be deployed in the coming days. next day.
Top Ukrainian officials say they do not believe Russia has enough troops to control the city of Kharkiv, about 30 kilometers from the Russian border.
Also according to Mr. Budanov, Russia has small groups of forces in the border area near Sumy province bordering Kharkiv, around the Russian city of Sudzha. From this city, Russian natural gas is transported through Ukraine to European customers using a pipeline system.
"As for Sumy province, Russia actually planned an attack from the beginning... but the situation did not allow them to take active actions and start the operation," he said.
The Russian attack is a test of Ukraine's military numbers. Military analysts say that Kyiv is short of soldiers and urgently needs additional manpower on the battlefield. That shortage was exacerbated by months of delays in vital U.S. military aid.
Black Bird Group open-source intelligence analyst Emil Kastehelmi told Reuters that the most important battle in the Russian offensive is taking place in Vovchansk, a municipality about 45 kilometers from the city of Kharkiv.
"If Russia wants to advance further south, they need to capture Vovchansk. In this city, Ukraine is fighting Russia and it seems that stronger Ukrainian defense forces are also starting to appear about 6 miles from the border -8 km in other places," he said.
According to Tamaz Gambarashvili, head of Vovchansk's military administration, the city was "almost destroyed".
"The city is still completely under (Kyiv's) control, but there are small groups trying to get into the suburbs, so fighting happened," he said.
Liz Throssell, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said her office was "deeply concerned" by the plight of civilians in Kharkiv province, where she said at least eight people had died. killed and 35 injured since May 10.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper

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