Home News What you need to know about Russia’s offensive in northeastern Ukraine

What you need to know about Russia’s offensive in northeastern Ukraine

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Ukrainian soldiers engaged in fierce fighting on Monday in the northeast of their countryRussian troops crossed the border last week to open a new attack line near the city of Kharkiv in an attempt to fend off an offensive.

Russian airstrikes on Monday hit the small town of Vovchansk, about five miles from the border, according to Denis Yaroslavsky, a Ukrainian military officer currently fighting in Vovchansk.

“They’re dropping five to seven bombs every three minutes,” Yaroslavsky said in a telephone interview on Monday, referring to the Russian bombing.

Wolfchansk’s pre-war population was about 17,000, and local officials have been busy evacuating an estimated 200 to 300 remaining residents. Hryhoriy Shcherban, a volunteer in Wolfchansk on Monday morning, said he had received more than 200 evacuation requests overnight.

“We drove around looking for addresses. Russia was shelling the evacuation roads,” he said. “You could hear explosions at any time.”

The advance in Wovchansk follows weeks of warnings from Ukrainian officials that Russia was massing forces along the border with the aim of launching a new offensive in the northeast.those warnings Become reality Russian troops surged across the border early Friday morning along two main lines – one just north of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city after the capital Kiev, and another about 12 miles east of Vovchansk .

Here’s what you need to know about the current situation.

The Ukrainian military acknowledged earlier on Monday that Russian troops had captured some settlements in a rapid offensive.

Ukraine’s General Staff says: “The enemy is currently achieving tactical successes” said in a statement.

According to reports, Russian forces have so far succeeded in occupying at least nine villages and settlements, advancing about five miles into Ukrainian territory and seizing about 50 square miles of land. Online battlefield map Published by the Institute for War Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

Military experts and Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have so far advanced mostly through weakly defended and sparsely populated areas, explaining the relatively quick progress. They noted that Ukraine’s northeastern border had been regularly shelled by Russia throughout the war, making it difficult to build defenses and forcing many civilians to flee.

Still, Russian forces are closing in on densely populated areas and the intensity of the fighting is likely to intensify. Local authorities have evacuated nearly 6,000 people since Friday, According to Ole SinehubovHead of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration.

Ukrainian forces are already stretched thin in defending a 600-mile front line from eastern Kharkiv to the Black Sea city of Kherson. Military experts said that through the new offensive, the Russian Army is trying to further suppress the Ukrainian defense lines and eventually achieve a breakthrough.

Vienna-based military analyst Franz-Stefan Gadi said Russia is trying to move Ukrainian troops away from the southeastern Donbass region to make it easier for Russian troops to occupy territory there.

Mr Gadi said Russia’s main goal was to withdraw its troops from Russia. Chasiv Yar, Ukrainian stronghold Russian troops have been attacking for weeks. The town is located on strategic high ground and is key to defending the Ukrainian-controlled Donbas region.

Ukraine has sent reinforcements to the northeast, including the 92nd Commando Brigade, said Patsy Paronen, an analyst at Blackbird Group, a Finland-based company that analyzes satellite imagery and social media content of the battlefield.

Paronin said the unit recently fought in Chasiv Yar. He said Ukraine might draw personnel from the brigade, which is based in its base in Kharkiv.

Mykhailo Samus, deputy director of the Ukrainian Army, Transformation and Disarmament Research Center, a military research institute in Kiev, said the situation “has stabilized for now” and that Ukrainian forces managed to slow down Russia’s advance.

But both Samus and Paronin said Russia has not yet committed a large number of troops to the offensive — possibly as few as a few thousand troops — and much will depend on Moscow’s next move.

Russian forces have also made small gains in southeastern Ukraine in recent days, entering the town of Krasnohorivka last week, Ukrainian officials said.

They also slightly expanded their control over villages surrounding the city of Avdiivka, which Fall into Russia in February. Experts say Russian forces may use their gains in the area to move further north in a pincer offensive toward Chasiv Yar, about 25 miles away.

Elsewhere, Russian authorities said on Monday that Ukrainian shelling had killed 19 civilians in Russia’s Belgorod region, on the border with Kharkiv.

In one particularly fatal incident, The Russian Ministry of Defense stated On Sunday, fragments of an intercepted Ukrainian missile hit an apartment building in the area. Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov Said 15 bodies had been found In ruins. The claims could not be independently verified; Ukrainian officials denied firing into residential areas.

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