UKRAINE, KHARKIV OBLAST, May 19 — Russian military assaults in the Kharkiv direction are concentrated near Lyptsi and Vovchansk, and 60% of Vovchansk is under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said Roman Semenukha, deputy head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, on Ukrainian TV.

On May 10, Russia launched a new ground offensive north and northeast of the Kharkiv region, in Vovchansk and Lyptsi directions. Military analysts and the Ukrainian military said Russia’s main goal in a new offensive would be to stretch Ukrainian troops and resources and force Ukraine to pull forces away from Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast. 

The Kharkiv Regional Governor, Oleh Syniehubov, noted that the frontline in the north has stabilized. Russian troops have failed to advance in the Lyptsi and Slobozhanskyi directions.

“Our military continues fighting for Vovchansk, where the frontline runs along the Vovcha River. The occupants are trying to advance there but are having no success. Our troops are trying to defend [Vovchansk] house by house, street by street. [Russian] plan to quickly capture the north of the region failed due to the effective actions of our military,” Syniehubov said.

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 Vovchansk in the wake of the Russian assault on the city.  

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that as of 1:30 p.m. on May 20, there were two combat engagements in the Kharkiv region near Starytsia and Vovchansk. The Russian military hit near Lyptsi with an airstrike. 

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin claimed that the goal of a new offensive in the region is to create “a sanitary zone” to prevent shelling of Belgorod Oblast, adding Russia has “no plans to capture Kharkiv as of today.” Putin claimed he had no plans to invade or occupy Ukraine multiple times before and after the Russian full-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022. 

At the meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukraine needs two Patriot systems to protect Kharkiv and Kharkiv Oblast. 

In the Kupiansk direction, a battle continues in the vicinity of Synkivka, and Ukrainian troops repelled one Russian attack there. The Russian army also used aircraft twice to strike Ukrainian positions near Ivanivka.

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