June 16, 2024

Ukraine says halted Russian ‘advance’ in some Kharkiv zones

The Ukrainian army said on Thursday it had partially halted a Russian advance in the northeast, where Moscow has secured its largest territorial gains in 18 months over the last week.

Moscow launched a major ground assault across the border into the Kharkiv region last week, a surprise move that has further stretched Ukraine’s outgunned and outmanned forces.

Russian troops captured 278 square kilometres (107 square miles) of Ukrainian territory between May 9 and 15, mostly in the Kharkiv area, AFP has calculated using data from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

That is the largest territorial gain in a single operation since mid-December 2022, when Moscow advanced in the eastern Lugansk region.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky met military leaders in Kharkiv city on Thursday and said the situation was “very difficult” but “under control”.

Kyiv meanwhile said it had managed to halt advancing Russian forces in some places.

“The situation in the Kharkiv sector remains complicated but is evolving in a dynamic manner,” army spokesman Nazar Voloshin said on state TV on Thursday. 

“Our defence forces have partially stabilised the situation. The advance of the enemy in certain zones and localities has been halted,” he added.

In a daily briefing, Ukraine’s General Staff said its forces had “significantly reduced the activity of the Russian occupiers.”

“But the enemy is still trying to create the conditions for further advances,” Voloshin warned.

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