Russian military attacks Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

Russia may be pushing to create new border buffer zone.

May 11, 2024 - 03:16
Russian military attacks Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

Russian forces launched an attack across the Ukrainian border north of Kharkiv, potentially aiming to open a new front in the war that has long been waged in the country’s east and south.

Ukraine sent reinforcements as fighting occurred along the Russian border of the region, the defense ministry said, adding that Russia had pounded the frontier town of Vovchansk with guided aerial bombs and artillery.

“At approximately 5 a.m., there was an attempt by the enemy to break through our defense line using armored vehicles,” the Ukrainian defense ministry shared in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Friday. “As of now, these attacks have been repelled; battles of varying intensity continue.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine was prepared for the attack, meeting the enemy with troops, brigades and artillery. Yet he cautioned that Russia might send more troops to support the ongoing assault.

“Russia has begun a new wave of counteroffensive actions in this direction,” Zelenskyy said at a news conference in Kyiv. “Now there is a fierce battle in this direction.”

The possible aim of the offensive is creation of a “buffer zone” along the border, Reuters reported a senior Ukrainian military source as saying.

Over the last month, Russia has been increasing its military activities around Kharkiv, exploiting limited Ukrainian air defenses to conduct bombing operations in and around the city.

Located approximately 30 kilometers south of the Russian border, Kharkiv strongly resisted the initial invasion in the spring of 2022. A swift Ukrainian counteroffensive in September of the same year pushed back Moscow’s forces back far enough to allow many civilians to return.

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