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Interior Minister: Russian military conducts civilian executions in northern Vovchansk

Russian forces detain, execute civilians in Kharkiv’s Vovchansk as Ukraine’s police try to evacuate them amid ongoing fighting, the Ukrainian Interior Minister says.
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.
Interior Minister: Russian military conducts civilian executions in northern Vovchansk

In the northern area of Vovchansk, northern Kharkiv Oblast, where active fighting continues, Russian forces are detaining civilians and have reportedly executed several people, stated Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko. Until today, civilian evacuations were still ongoing in the area, with Ukraine’s National Police continuing to transport people despite threats and ongoing shelling.

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.

According to operational information, Russian occupiers currently trying to secure their positions in the city are preventing local residents from evacuating. Instead, they are abducting people and forcing them into basements, noted Klymenko.

The first executions of civilians by the Russian military are known. In particular, one of the residents of Vovchansk tried to escape on foot, refused to follow the commands of the invaders, and was killed by the Russians. Investigators of the National Police of Ukraine in Kharkiv region opened criminal proceedings over violations of the rules and customs of war,” Klymenko wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian Police evacuation teams continue to work in Vovchansk despite intense fighting and are trying to ensure further evacuation, Klymenko wrote.

On 14 May, the Office of the Prosecutor General reported that a 46-year-old civilian man was shot dead by a Russian soldier in the Vovchansk community, and another local resident disappeared during an armed attack by the Russian troops.

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