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Ukraine plans to counterattack Russian forces near Kharkiv

Olesia Safronova and Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

The Ukrainian army said it’s planning counterattacks to push back Russian forces that seized territory in the northeast Kharkiv region.

The incursion, which began two weeks ago, opened a new front and stretched Kyiv’s resources. But Moscow failed to achieve its objective to create a buffer zone of up to 30 kilometers (19 miles) within Ukraine, Ihor Prokhorenko, an official in Ukraine’s General Staff, said Friday.

“The enemy has been stopped,” he told a briefing in Kyiv.

Russia is accumulating troops along the border in the neighboring Sumy region, Prokhorenko said. Defenses have been boosted there, and the military will avoid “miscalculations” that allowed Russians to pour into the Kharkiv region earlier this month, he said.

Two weeks after Russian troops crossed the border to open a fresh front in Kharkiv region, the advance has ground to a halt in the town of Vovchansk less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the frontier, and in Lyptsi to the southwest, top military commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Thursday. The Kremlin’s new front forced Kyiv to rush soldiers to the country’s northeast, sapping reserves as Moscow intensified assaults in the east.

Russia’s incursion near Kharkiv follows months of increased bombardment of Ukraine’s second-biggest city. A series of missile strikes early Thursday struck a book-printing facility and damaged rail infrastructure, killing seven people and injuring 21. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with officials in the city on Friday to discuss preparations for the new heating season as well as the military situation in the region.

 

DeepState, a map service maintained in cooperation with Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, showed no significant advance of Kremlin troops as part of the Kharkiv offensive since Monday. Syrskyi said the Russian military command is dispatching reserves to support the local offensive, but to no avail.

Russian forces repelled a series of Ukrainian counterattacks as they continued to move deeper into Ukrainian defense lines near Kharkiv, the defense ministry in Moscow said on Telegram Friday.

Fighting in the eastern region of Donetsk has intensified as the Kremlin gained momentum by exploiting its advantage over Ukraine’s ammunition supplies and manpower. Moscow’s forces pressed forward near the strategically positioned settlement of Chasiv Yar, which they aim to capture “at all costs,” Syrskyi said.

—With assistance from Kateryna Chursina.


©2024 Bloomberg L.P. Visit bloomberg.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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