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Putin’s Surprise Attack Leaves Ukraine in ‘Incredibly Difficult’ Position

Russia launched “constant bombing” against Kharkiv on Saturday, according to a national police statement. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received two briefings from his commander-in-chief, Alexander Syrsky, on Saturday.

Russia launched airstrikes in Vilcha, Liptsy, Liman, Izbitskoye, Veseloye, Petrovka, Kazachya Lopan, Sinelnikovo, Volchansk in Kharkiv, according to an assessment by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The situation is “incredibly difficult,” Vovchansk military administration head Tamaz Hambarashvili said, according to the AP.

Russia has mainly focused its war effort on Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, with only marginal gains. But in recent weeks, Russia has focused its attacks on energy infrastructure, which could be an attempt to prepare for further attacks, the AP reported.

The moment is sensitive for Ukraine, which has suffered in recent months from a limited army and resources. The aim of the attack is likely to bog down Ukrainian assets in Kharkiv in order to dilute Ukraine’s focus on thwarting Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine, Institute analysts said for the study of war. So far, the operation has brought Russia “tactically significant gains,” the ISW said.

Russia claimed to have captured five villages between Kharkiv and Russia.

Russia launched its surprise offensive in the community of Vovchansk, five kilometers from the Russian border, on Friday, killing at least two civilians, Oleg Sinegubov, head of the regional administration, said in a message on Telegram.

Ukraine had reconquered Vovchansk from Russian occupation at the start of the war.

Nearly 1,000 residents evacuated Kharkiv between Friday and Saturday, according to national police figures.

According to AP journalists on site, buildings were destroyed and others were set on fire on Saturday. Sky News reported smoke billowing from buildings.

Ukraine is working to strengthen its positions in Kharkiv, Zelensky said in a speech on Saturday.

“Our defense operations continue in the Kharkiv region,” Zelensky said. “Disrupting Russian offensive plans is now task number one. Accomplishing this task depends on each soldier, each sergeant, each officer.

The attack comes weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested he might seek to establish what he calls a “buffer” zone between Russia and Ukraine, but only on Ukrainian territory. Analysts at the time believed that his statements could lay the groundwork for a zone on Ukrainian territory presented as a peaceful buffer between Ukraine and Russia, when in reality it could be a cover for a forced annexation of the Ukrainian territory under another name.

The operation is also likely aimed at pushing Ukrainian forces back from Belgorod into Russia, according to the ISW.

“Russian forces will likely take advantage of their tactical position in northern Kharkiv Oblast in the coming days to intensify their offensive operations and continue the initial phase of an offensive effort likely aimed at pushing Ukrainian forces back from the border with Belgorod Oblast,” ISW analysts said.

Ukrainian forces have been carrying out attacks on Belgorod for months that have put Russia on alert, evacuating residents while Ukraine takes the fight to Russian soil.

News Source :
Gn world

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