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Zelenskyy: Russia gather troops for new offensive attempt in Kharkiv Oblast

Speaking from a printing house Factor-Druk in Kharkiv, which Russians destroyed on 23 May, Ukraine’s president Zelenskyy warned that Russia is preparing for a new offensive 90 km (55 miles) north-west from Kharkiv and urged world leaders to attend the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the ruins of a printing house in Kharkiv , Source: Volodymyr Zelenskyy social media
Zelenskyy: Russia gather troops for new offensive attempt in Kharkiv Oblast

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

While Russia started a major offensive on Kharkiv on 10 May, exploiting the delays of delivering the US aid, Ukrainian forces managed to hold Russian advance, with Zelenskyy claiming that Ukraine stabilized the situation on the Kharkiv frontline. 

Ukrainian forces currently defend against the Russian offensive 60 km (37 miles) northeast of Kharkiv, according to Zelenskyy. 

“Russia is preparing for offensive actions also 90 km (55 miles) north-west from here [Kharkiv]. They gather another group of troops near our border,“ Zelenskyy said. 

Global Peace Summit Switzerland

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. 

“Summit that will show who in the world really wants to end the war and not just claim the ceasefire which will inevitably be broken by Russian rockets and artillery just like as it was dozens, dozens of times before,” Zelenskyy said.

He stated that over 80 countries confirmed to attend the summit. He also appealed to US President Biden and Chinese President Xi to join the summit, stressing the importance of preserving the UN Charter. 

The president urged the leaders to show their commitment to advancing real peace, not just temporary ceasefires that Russia has repeatedly violated in the past.

Zelenskyy addressed the world leaders standing on the ruins of a printing house in Kharkiv, destroyed by Russians on 23 May. The Russians strike killed five people and destroyed 50,000 books. 

On 25 May, ISW reported that Russia’s premature Kharkiv offensive was hampered by limited manpower and hasty start. Russians used roughly 35,000 personnel for the offensive while they need 50,000 to 70,000 for a more effective advance. 

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