KHARKIV OBLAST, UKRAINE, May 15 — Although the situation worsened in the border communities because of Russian attacks, there is no need to evacuate the residents of Kharkiv, reported the mayor, Ihor Terekhov, on Ukrainian TV on May 15.

“We are not talking about evacuating Kharkiv. On the contrary, we accept evacuees. People are coming to Kharkiv from the areas where active combat is happening. We have already accepted more than 6,000 people. We are accommodating them in dormitories, providing them with everything they need,” the mayor said. 

Evacuation is currently underway in the region as the Russians launched a new ground offensive north and northeast of the Kharkiv region. The border communities came under heavy Russian shelling and air strikes. 

“The city helps our military units a lot, and Kharkiv citizens responded to my call and transferred funds for the needs of the defenders. Our main goal is to defend Kharkiv and Ukraine and to give a worthy rebuff to the aggressor who came to our land,” emphasized Ihor Terekhov.

According to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov, police, volunteers, and rescuers evacuated 7,991 people from the border communities of Kharkiv Oblast. 

The mayor said that the day before, the Russians had launched seven air strikes on residential areas of Kharkiv to intimidate its residents and force them to leave the city. 

On the evening of May 14, Russian troops hit the Shevchenkivskyi district of Kharkiv with three air bombs. They damaged residential buildings, including two floors of a high-rise building, and garages. The Russian attack injured 21 civilians, including two girls aged 12 and 8, and a 12-year-old boy.

Gwara Media was in Vovchansk, a city that’s one of the main goals of Russia’s new Kharkiv offensive, and talked to people who were fleeing their homes (or staying) under heavy bombardment. Read the field report here

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