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General Staff: Ukrainian forces foil Russian entrenchment in Vovchansk

Ukrainian defense forces disrupted Russian attempts to establish a strong presence in Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, continuing to execute combat tasks and keeping Russian forces under fire control in the city’s northern buildings, Ukraine’s General Staff says.
A Ukrainian soldier. Credit: The 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade Kholodnyi Yar
General Staff: Ukrainian forces foil Russian entrenchment in Vovchansk

Ukrainian defense forces have successfully disrupted Russian military plans to deeply entrench themselves in the northern urban areas of Vovchansk, according to the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces. Despite aggressive attempts by Russian troops to secure and fortify positions within the city, Ukrainian units have maintained active combat roles and kept the opposing forces under strict fire control, the General Staff reported in its morning update.

Overnight on 10 May 2024, Russian forces initiated a new offensive into Kharkiv Oblast from the north across the border, with Vovchansk town being one of the primary targets. The US think tank ISW notes that now this offensive has since slowed, with advances halting at no more than 8 km from the border, while Western restrictions on strikes within Russia complicate Ukraine’s defense of these vulnerable areas.

Since the beginning of the day, Ukrainian units in Vovchansk have continued to perform combat missions within the city limits in the northern part of the town, and have kept the Russians under fire control, the military emphasise. The situation is under control, the military concludes.

ukraine loses some ground near kharkiv oblasts kupiansk situation north oblast 16 may 2024 per deepstatemap situ
Situation in the north of Kharkiv Oblast on 16 May 2024, as per Deepstatemap.

Overall, since the start of the occupiers’ offensive in Kharkiv region on 10 May, Ukrainian defenders have used decisive actions to force the invaders to “significantly reduce their activity,” the military said.

The enemy’s plans to penetrate as deep as possible into the urban area of Vovchansk and gain a foothold there have been thwarted,” the General Staff said.

In its evening update, the General Staff says that the number of Russian attacks in the Kharkiv sector increased to 10, with most of the fighting is taking place in the vicinity of Liptsy and Vovchansk.

general staff ukrainian forces foil russian entrenchment vovchansk situation city kharkiv oblast 16 may 2024 map deepstatemap
Situation in Vovchansk City, Kharkiv Oblast, as of 16 May 2024. Map: deepstatemap

Vovchansk mayor injured

On the afternoon of 16 May, Russian forces shelled a village in the Vovchansk community, resulting in injuries to two medics, two drivers, a local resident, and Tamaz Gambarashvili, the head of the Vovchansk City Military Administration. Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, and the National Police of Kharkiv Oblast reported the incident.

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