KHARKIV OBLAST, UKRAINE, May 13 —  The situation in the Kharkiv direction is still complicated. Fighting continues near Lukiantsi, Hlyboke, Olinykove, Buhruvatka, Starytsia, and Tykhe, reported Serhii Melnyk, head of the Kharkiv garrison.

On May 10, Russia launched a new ground offensive north and northeast of the Kharkiv region, moving forward in small incursions and trying to probe Ukrainian defenses. The border communities came under intense Russian shelling and air strikes with heavy glide bombs. Civilian evacuation from there is ongoing. 

According to Serhii Melnyk, now, Russia is attacking Vovchansk, one of the main Russian efforts in the northern Kharkiv direction, with five battalions, and has tactical success there.  

Vovchansk is 50 kilometers from Kharkiv and five kilometers from the border. Taking the city affords Russian forces “many opportunities,” including fire support without moving their artillery and quick fuel and weapons deliveries to the frontline. 

Even though Russia has had some tactical success, their losses are enormous, notes Melnyk. In the attacks on the border town of Vovchansk, Ukrainian defenders killed about a hundred Russian troops.

In the Kupiansk direction, the Ukrainian Armed Forces repelled attacks near Petropavlivka, Berestove, Stelmakhivka, and Andriivka.

Ukrainian authorities knew about the possible attack from the north and said the region was prepared for defense and repelling a new Russian offensive.

On the Kupiansk axis, Russia is trying to occupy the rest of the Luhansk oblast and push into Kharkiv oblast’s eastern and Donetsk oblast’s northern regions. One of Russia’s goals is to reoccupy Kupiansk, a logistics and railway hub between Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts. Seizing it would allow the Russian army to boost its supply efforts.

Also, according to Serhii Melnyk, the towns of Hraniv, Lyptsi, Vesele, Neskuchne, Starytsia, Zarichne, Zelenyi Yar, Hontarivka, Tomakhivka, Yurchenkove, Kupiansk, and Vovchansk came under Russian airstrikes. 

The Russian army also shelled Lyptsi, Odnorobivka, Kozacha Lopan, Neskuchne, Starytsia, Vovchansk, Lyptsi, Neskuchne, Osynovo, Starytsia, Vovchansk, Vovchanski Khutory, and other frontline settlements from MLRS, artillery, and mortars. 

Russians also injured civilians. Residential buildings, educational institutions, civilian infrastructure, and cars were destroyed. Evacuation is currently underway in the region. The police and volunteers go door-to-door and help people to leave the border towns and villages. As of this morning, 5,762 people have been evacuated from the dangerous areas where active hostilities occur in the Kharkiv region.

Field report: Threat of reoccupation looms over Vovchansk as Russia launches new offensive on Kharkiv region. Gwara Media joined the evacuation mission on May 11 to talk to people who were leaving and staying in Vovchansk in the wake of the Russian assault on the city.  

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  • This week, the situation in the Kharkiv region has “significantly worsened”, writes the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi. According to him, fighting continues along the state border of the Russian Federation.