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Zelenskyy: Ukrainian forces stabilize Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

According to Zelenskyy, the deepest point of the Russian advance in the Kharkiv region is 10 kilometers, but they have failed to breach Ukraine’s main defense lines.
zelenskyy 2024
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy talks to Ukrainian journalists, May 2024. Credit: Presidential Office
Zelenskyy: Ukrainian forces stabilize Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a meeting with journalists on 17 May that Ukraine’s Defense Forces had stabilized the situation in the Kharkiv direction.

Zelenskyy said the deepest point of Russian advancement is 10 kilometers, but on some fronts, they made no progress at all.

ISW reported on 16 May that Russian forces slowed down the pace of its offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast, advancing no more than 8 km from the border.

Zelenskyy said that Russian troops have not reached the “concrete line of defense,” and claims suggesting otherwise are “delusions.”

The Russian forces reportedly have only reached the first line, constructed by “Ukrainian soldiers under constant fire.”

“The first and second lines are built by the military, and the third line is built by local authorities. It is the strongest—not because they are better than the military, but simply because it is further away from weapons, shells, and shelling,” he explained.

The president added that the main target for the Russians is the city of Vovchansk.

The press service of Ukraine’s General Staff reported on 15 May that Ukrainian forces have partially pushed Russian troops out of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv Oblast.

According to the report, the Russian troops were trying to attack in the direction of Lyptsi.

Russian aviation carried out two strikes in the areas of the settlements of Lyptsi and Mala Danylivka. “Ukrainian forces repelled the offensive actions of the Russian occupying forces in the area of Vovchansk, partially pushed the Russian forces out of the settlement,” the report said.

The General Staff confirmed the advance of Russian occupation forces to the northern part of the city of Vovchansk.

On 10 May at 5 am, Russian troops tried to break through Ukraine’s defense near Vovchansk in the Kharkiv Oblast. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that Ukrainian defenders repelled the Russian attacks.

On 12 May, DeepState reported that the Russians had occupied several villages in the border areas of the Kharkiv Oblast.

On 14 May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that the city of Vovchansk was almost completely destroyed due to constant Russian shelling. The situation in the settlement is critical.

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