May 28, 2024

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War in Ukraine, day 812 | Ukrainian army withdraws from “certain” areas of the Northern Front

War in Ukraine, day 812 |  Ukrainian army withdraws from “certain” areas of the Northern Front

(Kiev) The Ukrainian military, under pressure for months, announced on Wednesday that it must withdraw to parts of its northeastern front in the Kharkiv region, where Russia launched a new offensive on May 10.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Western countries to speed up arms deliveries to counter Russian attacks after a meeting with US diplomatic chief Anthony Blinken, who visited Kyiv on Tuesday and Wednesday. Obstruction and uncertainty.

The new Russian offensive is taking place in Kharkiv, whose eponymous capital is Ukraine’s second-largest city. The region, which is close to the Russian border, has seen a massive bombing campaign in recent weeks.

The Ukrainian army announced on Wednesday that it was withdrawing its troops from parts of the northeast, while the Russian army had earlier in the day claimed to have penetrated “deep into Ukrainian defenses” and captured a new village.

“In some places in the Lukyensi and Vovsansk regions, due to the enemy’s firing and offensive actions, maneuvers were carried out to save the lives of our soldiers, the units were moved to more favorable positions,” the spokesman of the forces in the region, Nazar Voloshin, announced on television on Wednesday.

A “very difficult” situation

According to Oleksiï Karkivsky, the police chief of Vovtchansk, a pre-war city of about 18,000 people, “fighting” is ongoing in the city. “The situation is very difficult. The enemy is positioning itself in the streets,” he said, calling on the remaining population to evacuate.

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The offensive in northern Ukraine caught Ukrainian forces by surprise last weekend. Several villages were captured and about 7,000 people were evacuated from the area.

According to the Telegram channel Deepstate, close to the Ukrainian army, the Russians managed to occupy a distance of about 80 km.2 Loukiantsi and another 53 km around2 Towards Vovchansk.

Some military analysts believe that Moscow could force Ukraine to divert its forces from other parts of the front line, particularly in the east, around the strategic city of Chasiv in the Donetsk region, around which Russia is also advancing.

“Things are very difficult right now in Donetsk and Kharkiv regions,” Mr. Zelensky said in his daily speech Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday he also stressed the need for a “significant acceleration in the delivery” of Western weapons. “Now too much time passes between the announcement of (aid) packages and the actual appearance of weapons on the front lines,” he lamented.

The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, assured the same day that US military aid to Ukraine was “on the way”, promising that it would “make a real difference on the battlefield”.

The slow pace of European aid and the months-long U.S. shutdown linked to U.S. political disagreements have put Ukraine in a difficult position, with Russia running out of men and ammunition at a time with its war economy. By the end of 2023 it had regained the initiative on the ground.

Zelensky canceled the trip

The Ukrainian president also canceled a planned trip to Spain on Friday without explanation. According to the Spanish press, he took this decision because of the new Russian offensive in the north.

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Ukrainian officials assure that the city of Kharkiv is not threatened by a ground attack.

However, the city has been subject to weeks of devastating Russian bombing, particularly of its power grid.

Tuesday’s strike left at least 20 more injured, after a guided missile struck an apartment building.

Due to damage to energy infrastructure caused by Russian strikes in recent months, Ukraine began lifting nationwide electricity rations from Wednesday morning the previous evening.

For its part, Russia said on Wednesday that it had neutralized about twenty Ukrainian drones targeting targets within a thousand kilometers of the Ukrainian border.