UKRAINE, KHARKIV, May 30 — The Russian army is considering the Zolochiv direction as one of the most suitable for an attempt to stretch the Ukrainian military in the north of the Kharkiv region, said Oleh Syniehubov, Kharkiv Oblast Governor, during a briefing.

On May 10, Russia launched a new ground offensive north and northeast of the Kharkiv region, in the 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 Donetsk Oblast and other directions, such as the Kupiansk axis.

The Governor says that the administration has information that the Russian army selected the Zolochiv direction as one of the most effective to keep the highest number of Ukrainian troops in the north..

“The enemy is pulling up reserves in the Lyptsi and Vovchansk directions to keep up the pressure. At the moment, they can also redirect reserves to the Zolochiv direction in a day. Therefore, we must be ready to implement our evacuation plans,” noted Syniehubov.

Currently, partially forced evacuation, including of families with children, is underway in the Zolochiv direction.

“We predict the first wave [of evacuation – ed.] will be about 1500 people. We have already reserved places in Kharkiv for it. We have all the resources to organize the evacuation of people,” explains Oleh Syniehubov.

Evacuation is currently underway in the region. According to Oleh Syniehubov, police, volunteers, and rescuers evacuated 11,293 people from the border communities of Kharkiv Oblast. 

UPD from May 31, 9:50 a.m.: A headline is edited to improve clarity.

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