Kharkiv Under Siege: Intense Battles Raging on All Fronts

Residential Buildings Ablaze in Vovchansk. The small town with 17,000 inhabitants is located north of Kharkiv, on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Since Friday, Russian troops have crossed the border and attacked the city

by Sededin Dedovic
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Kharkiv Under Siege: Intense Battles Raging on All Fronts
© Carl Court / Getty Images

In the Vovchansk forest are residential buildings. The town with 17,000 inhabitants is located north of Kharkiv, on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Since Friday, Russian troops have crossed the border and attacked the city. Analysts from the Ukrainian website "Deep State" report that they have captured six villages so far.

"These two days and nights are terrible. May God save us. A person lies down and wonders if they will be killed in an hour," says Valentina Hrevnova (75) to AP reporters. Nevertheless, this woman wants to stay in Vovchansk. "It's horrific, but what can we do? I hope the Russians won't succeed in reaching here." "Stay alive," says her neighbor who is leaving her home.

Ukrainian police are helping her move somewhere safer.

Withdrawal of Ukrainians from the Donetsk region?

Analysts from the "Deep State" website believe the situation is deteriorating. Military expert Oleksandr Musienko says that Russia is bringing in more and more forces to the area, forcing Ukraine to also send its troops to the region.

"The fact is that the Ukrainian armed forces will most likely regroup their troops in the Donetsk region," he notes.

A swing set sits near a destroyed building in a section of Kharkiv that was heavily damaged by the Russians© Spencer Platt / Getty Images

According to Musienko, it's even possible that Ukrainians may have to withdraw from the Donetsk region "if the situation in the north and northeast worsens."
Putin dismissed his defense minister ShoiguPutin dismissed his defense minister Shoigu At the same time, news comes from Moscow that there will be no place for Sergei Shoigu in the new Putin government, who has been the Russian defense minister since 2012.

It's unlikely that this will affect Russian actions in the Kharkiv region, especially considering that Putin retained Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov. According to numerous observers, Russia's calculus revolves around forcing Ukraine to regroup its troops and thus "stretching" them.

The Russian offensive is not unexpected. In previous weeks, Russia has amassed troops in the border area. However, Ukraine expected the Russian offensive to come later. Obviously, Russia is exploiting the weaknesses of the Ukrainian army, which lacks ammunition and personnel.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Ukrainian forces are not only under pressure in that area: "The situation in the Donetsk region remains particularly tense, especially towards Pokrovsk. There, more than 30 combat actions take place daily.

The situation is extremely difficult. Of course, we are also watching other directions of our defense operations."

Thousands evacuated from the Kharkiv region

According to Ukrainian authorities, they have relocated four thousand people to safer locations from the Kharkiv region.

Among them is Tatiana Vasilyevna (82) from Vovchansk. She was transferred to Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine. "Missiles or bombs hit suddenly in five or six houses," she says. "My house was burning, and my husband was lying under the rubble and didn't react.

Now they are transferring me to Kharkiv. I don't have a passport anymore. I have nothing left." After these heavy attacks, the President of Ukraine criticized the slow delivery of weapons from the West. In a video message, Zelensky said that actual weapon deliveries are truly helpful, not just their announcement, as reported by DW.

Conflicts on the front line have intensified as the Russian army intensified its attacks last week in the regions of Kharkiv and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian and Russian media report. While Russia launches intense attacks on Ukraine with high-precision long-range projectiles, hypersonic missile systems "Dagger," and drones, it continues to target energy facilities of this country, as well as military industry companies and railway infrastructure.

Ukraine has also intensified drone attacks on oil storage facilities in various regions of Russia in recent days. Last week, a drone attack was carried out on an oil storage facility in the Russian region of Krasnodar and an oil production facility in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan.

The operation of the damaged facilities has been halted for repair. Yesterday, in a rocket attack carried out by the Ukrainian army on the Russian city of Belgorod, 19 people lost their lives, and 27 were injured. Russia accused the Kiev administration of "organizing a barbaric missile attack" and claimed that the West was behind the attack on Belgorod.

Russia subsequently intensified its attacks on Kharkiv to prevent Ukrainian attacks. The Russian army is attempting to break through the defense of Ukrainian soldiers by continuing active attacks, especially in the directions of Kupiansk, Liman, Pokrovsk, Vremivsk, and Kramatorsk, in the Kharkiv region.

In some regions of Kharkiv, the Russian army has achieved partial success, while in some regions, Ukrainian soldiers are pushing back the Russians. Some villages in Kharkiv, which were the scene of violent clashes, have turned into battlefields, and it is reported that there are civilians among the wounded.

More than 4,000 civilians have been evacuated from settlements since Russia launched an intensive attack on the north of Kharkiv.

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