Zelensky Announces Liberation of Kharkiv Region from Russian Forces

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukrainian forces have successfully reclaimed territories near Kharkiv previously occupied by Russian troops

by Sededin Dedovic
Zelensky Announces Liberation of Kharkiv Region from Russian Forces
© Pool / Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that the Ukrainian military has succeeded in reclaiming territories previously occupied by Russian troops in the Kharkiv region in the northeast of the country, reports Assossiated Press.

In his video address on Friday evening, Zelensky said, "Our soldiers have managed to take combat control of the border area where the Russian occupiers had entered." Zelensky's comments contrast with those made by Russian officials.

Viktor Vodolatsky, a member of the lower house of the Russian parliament, stated that Russian forces now control more than half of the city of Vovchansk, five kilometers inside the border, as reported by the Russian state news agency Tass.

These claims cannot be independently verified. Vodolatsky also added that once Vovchansk is captured, Russian forces will advance towards the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Pokrovsk in the neighboring Donetsk region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the aim of the Russian military is to create a "buffer zone" in the Kharkiv region to prevent Ukrainian cross-border attacks. The city of Kharkiv, which is the capital of the region of the same name, is located about 20 kilometers from the Russian border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks in Minsk yesterday with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, after which he stated that peace negotiations in Ukraine need to be resumed, but that Moscow will only negotiate with legitimate leaders in Kyiv.

Russia is ready to hold talks about the war in Ukraine, Putin said, but the five-year mandate of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was supposed to end on May 20. However, Zelensky has not held new presidential elections while his country is at war.

Ukrainian legislation prohibits holding elections while a state of emergency is in effect since Russia began its invasion in February 2022. "Of course, we are aware that the legitimacy of the current head of state has ended.

We must be completely certain that we are dealing with legitimate authorities," Putin said at a press conference in Minsk after talks with Lukashenko.

Russian Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky