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Ukraine evacuates 2,000 from border area near Kharkiv amid heavy fighting

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Published Time: 11.05.2024 - 17:40:18 Modified Time: 11.05.2024 - 17:40:18

Russian soldiers advance up to three miles after two-pronged dawn attack Reuters/Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy Ukrainian forces have evacuated more than 2,000 people from a border area near Kharkiv amid heavy fighting following a surprise Russian attack that threatens Ukraine’s second-biggest city

Russian soldiers advance up to three miles after two-pronged dawn attack

: Reuters/Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy

Ukrainian forces have evacuated more than 2,000 people from a border area near Kharkiv amid heavy fighting following a surprise Russian attack that threatens Ukraine’s second-biggest city.

Russian soldiers have now advanced up to three miles into Ukraine in a two-pronged dawn attack launched on Friday that the Kremlin claims led to the capture of five villages.

“In the morning, the Russians resumed their assault operations near the settlement of Hlyboka in the north of the Kharkiv region. The Ukrainian Defence Forces are expecting an increase in enemy fire in this region,” said Andriy Tsaplienko, a well-known Ukrainian military blogger.

He posted video and photos of what he said were destroyed Russian armoured personnel carriers in the north Kharkiv region surrounded by dead Russian soldiers.

Moscow’s attack has focused on the towns of Vovchansk and Lyptsi, roughly 20 miles north of Kharkiv.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence said on Saturday that its forces had captured five villages around Lyptsi – Borisovka, Ogurtsovo, Pletenevka, Pylnaya and Sterelchya.

But Ukraine said they were contested and clashes were ongoing in all five villages.

: Getty/Hnat Holyk

Fighting was raging on Saturday for control of the villages, said Oleh Syniehubov, Kharkiv’s governor.

“As of now the enemy keeps pressing in the north of our region. Our forces have repelled nine attacks,” he added.

Mr Syniehubov said regional authorities had evacuated more than 2,500 people from the frontier area and that process continued.

Ukrainian forces on Friday denied that they had lost any ground to Russian forces.

But in his daily evening Telegram update, president Volodymr Zelensky said that fighting was “fierce” in the Kharkiv region and that resupplies had been sent.

“We are adding more forces to Kharkiv. Both along our state border and along the entire front line, we will invariably destroy the occupier in a way that will disrupt any Russian offensive intentions,” he said.

Russian military bloggers said that fighting was now focused on Vovchansk, which hadn’t yet been captured.

“The work of small arms can be heard in the city, fragmentary information is received about the actions to capture the Vovchansk enemy group in a pincer movement,” said the Two Majors Telegram channel.

: Getty/Sergey Bobok

Vovchansk had a pre-war population of 20,000 people and lies on the border with Russia’s Belgorod region.

Online reports and video on the Telegram social messaging system showed what appeared to be increasingly fierce fighting in the area. Unverified drone footage claimed to show three Russian armoured personnel carriers, a tank and a military truck smashed and abandoned after apparently being ambushed.

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