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British intelligence: Russia has not achieved Putin’s goals in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian troops have failed to achieve Vladimir Putin’s stated goal of creating a “buffer zone” to the north of Kharkiv.
ukrainian soldier on frontline
Ukrainian soldier. Photo: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy via Telegram.
British intelligence: Russia has not achieved Putin’s goals in Kharkiv Oblast

According to Defence Intelligence, a British intelligence organization part of the British Ministry of Defense, Russian armed forces have as of this moment not succeeded in creating a ”buffer” or safety zone in the Kharkiv Oblast.

The intelligence report states that the northern Kharkiv front has likely stabilized with Russian territorial control fragmented and not joined up.

The British intelligence organization posted their views on X (formerly Twitter).

”Russia’s gains in this axis will be limited in the coming week, as Russia’s initial momentum has been contained by Ukrainian resistance,” the report notes.

Thus, according to the British intelligence community, Putin’s plan to create a ”buffer zone” has so far failed to materialize due to Ukrainian efforts in containing Russian offensive operations.


British intelligence notes that Russian forces are continuing to attack the town of Vovchansk as part of their offensive into northern Kharkiv, which began on 10 May 2024.

The town remains contested, with defending Ukrainian forces repelling the majority of Russian assaults.

With the village of Buhruvatka, west-south-west of Vovchansk, likely under their control, Russian forces are attempting to achieve physical control of the nearby crossing over the Siverskiy Donets river, thereby  threatening the flank and rear of defending Ukrainian forces in Vovchansk itself.

Earlier, ISW noted that Russian forces launched their Kharkiv offensive prematurely, using a force which was not up to the task, in an attempt to establish a foothold before the arrival of resumed US military aid to Ukraine, which was approved in April after 6-months delays.

Russia gathering troops for new offensive

The ISW suggests that the Russian military command may be waiting to intensify offensive operations and pursue a second phase because its plans require a grouping of 50,000 to 70,000 personnel.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video address to world leaders on 26 May, stated that Russia is indeed gathering another group of troops on the northern border with Ukraine in preparation for a renewed offensive attempt.

In addition, Zelenskyy highlighted the need for global efforts in achieving peace in Ukraine and encouraged world leaders to participate in a global peace summit in Switzerland on 15-16 June.

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