World News

Russia mounts surprise assault on northern Ukraine in most serious cross-border offensive in two years

Alina Smutko/Reuters/File

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the cross-border assault was part of a “new wave of counter-offensive actions” by Russia.



CNN

Russian forces have launched two cross-border attacks in northern Ukraine, according to reports from Ukrainian sources and officials, in what President Volodymyr Zelensky calls Russia’s “new wave of counter-offensive actions.”

In the first development, Russian soldiers penetrated at least a kilometer towards the town of Vovchansk, a Ukrainian military source told CNN. The goal, according to the source, “was to reach 10 km depth and create a buffer zone on the border to prevent Russian territory from feeling the war.”

In an official statement, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Russian soldiers supported by armored vehicles crossed the border around 5 a.m. on Friday, following a day of intensified attacks on the border area with guided aerial bombs and artillery.

The statement added that Ukrainian reserve units were deployed to strengthen defenses in the region.

A second Ukrainian source with direct knowledge of developments on the front line told CNN that Russian forces had also penetrated five kilometers inside Ukraine towards the village of Krasne, located about 75 km along from the border, west of Vovchansk.

The source said the Russian ground assault toward Krasne was carried out by four Russian battalions, or about 2,000 troops.

Ukrainian officials have not given much information about the second Russian push, although the Ukrainian General Staff, in its update Friday evening, noted Russian attacks in the Krasne region and two neighboring villages .

It is also worth noting that DeepStateMap, a Ukrainian monitoring group that updates developments on the front line daily, showed four villages side by side – including Krasne – in the gray zone, representing currently contested territory rather than under full Ukrainian control.

DeepStateMap also noted on its Telegram channel that the number of Russian forces deployed in the two cross-border pushes was not enough for a deeper advance into Ukrainian territory, but it also drew attention to the fact that Moscow has many more troops positioned along the border: estimated at around 40,000.

Asked about developments, Zelensky did not downplay their seriousness, but said that the Ukrainian military expected such a move.

“Russia has launched a new wave of counter-offensive actions in (the northern Kharkiv region). Ukraine welcomed them there with our troops, our brigades and our artillery,” he told reporters Friday afternoon.

“But our military and our military leadership were aware of this and anticipated that their forces would meet the enemy with fire. There is now a fierce battle in this area (…) I think we have now stopped the enemy with artillery fire,” Zelensky said.

Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said on Telegram that two civilians were killed in the Russian offensive and several others were injured.

Residents of border villages were ordered to evacuate by authorities. State police posted photos and video on social media showing officers helping people pack their belongings into police vehicles before being driven to safer locations.

A total of 1,775 people have been evacuated so far from the Kharkiv region, a day after Russia’s surprise attack, the head of the region’s military administration said on Saturday.

These developments mark the most serious cross-border ground attack carried out by Russia since Ukraine retook territory in the northern Kharkiv region in late summer 2022, after first being captured by Russia in the first weeks of its large-scale invasion.

It also comes after several months of increased Russian air attacks on the city of Kharkiv, which destroyed all of the city’s electricity generation capacity, as well as its substations.

Syniehubov insisted that the latest Russian ground attacks did not put the city, located just 30 km south of the Russian border, at increased risk.

“The enemy group does not pose a threat to the city of Kharkiv, its forces are sufficient only for provocations in the northern direction.”

However, analysts note that if Russian forces were able to push much further south, it could bring the city’s northern edge within range of Russian artillery, which can fire about 20 km away.

News Source : amp.cnn.com
Gn world

jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
Back to top button