Russia Launches Offensive Into Kharkiv Region, Ukraine Says

Russia has launched a cross-border ground offensive into Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and a high-ranking Ukrainian military source said Friday.

Kyiv’s forces pushed back Russian forces from most of the Kharkiv region in 2022, the same year the Kremlin launched its so-called “special military operation.” But Moscow appears to be back on the offensive there as Ukrainian troops struggle with ammunition shortages.

“At approximately 5:00 a.m. the enemy attempted to break through our defense line under the cover of armored vehicles,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said.

It said Ukrainian forces had repelled Russia’s incursion but that “fighting of varying intensity” was ongoing, adding that Russian forces launched aerial strikes into an area near the border.

A high-ranking Ukrainian military source said Russia had advanced into Ukraine by “one kilometer” and was trying to “create a buffer zone” to prevent attacks into Russian territory.

Vitaliy Ganchev, a Russian-installed official in the Kharkiv region, said on Telegram that there was “fighting along several parts of the line of contact, including in the border areas.”

“In this regard, I ask residents living in these areas to be careful and not to leave shelters without an urgent need,” he said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed to have captured at least two villages in the region this week, pressing its advantage as Ukraine is outgunned and outmanned on the battlefield.


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