UKRAINE, May 7 — The Ukrainian army fought off 14 Russian attacks near Synkivka, Pishchane, and Berestove in Kharkiv oblast and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk oblast, reports the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in their morning briefing. 

On May 6, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) research group wrote that geolocated footage shows Russian troops advancing east of Stelmakhivka and south of Krokhmalne (the village in Kupiansk district, Kharkiv oblast, that Russians occupied for the second time in January 2024.) 

Russian efforts on the Kupiansk axis aim to seize the remainder of Luhansk oblast, move further west into eastern Kharkiv oblast, and take Kupiansk, an important logistics and railway hub for the region, the second time. Taking the city would allow the Russians to boost their combat supply operations.  

In the Slobozhanskyi direction, north of Kharkiv oblast, Russians maintain a military presence in the borderlands and conduct diversions to hold Ukrainian troops to the area and not allow them to relocate to other areas of the frontline. Russians also increase the density of minefields across the state border.  

In the interview published by The Economist on May 2, the deputy chief of the Ukrainian intelligence agency (HUR), Vadym Skibitskyi, said that Russian troops are preparing for an assault on Kharkiv and Sumy regions, presumably at the end of May or in June 2024.

In total, 97 combat clashes occurred across the frontline over the past day.

General Staff reports that Russian troops hit the Ukrainian army’s positions with two missile strikes, 83 airstrikes, and 101 artillery attacks. The Ukrainian military attacked 11 locations where Russian troops were concentrated, damaged two artillery systems, and downed a Kh-59 missile. 

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