Friday, May 24, 2024

Zelensky says military situation in Kharkiv ‘extremely difficult’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has admitted the military condition in the northeastern Kharkiv region was "extremely difficult", but still "under control", after a meeting with his military chiefs near the front line.

Zelensky met with senior military officials in the city of Kharkiv on Thursday, as Russian forces push deeper into the northeastern region. He also met with the senior officials from other border and frontline regions.

The Ukrainian leader described an “extremely difficult” outlook for Kyiv’s troops on the ground, where “we are strengthening our units”.

“The situation in the Kharkiv region is generally under control, and our soldiers are inflicting significant losses on the occupier. However, the area remains extremely difficult.”

Efforts to bolster Ukrainian forces were concentrated in Lyptsi and Vovchansk; a town located about 60 km (37 miles) northeast of Kharkiv city and the site of some of the most intense battles near the border.

At the same time, Lt. Col. Nazar Voloshyn warned combat in the Kharkiv direction “remains complicated and is changing dynamically”.

“Our forces are preventing the occupiers from gaining a foothold in certain areas in the northern Kharkiv region,” Voloshyn said in a television interview.

“The enemy’s advance in certain settlements has been stopped. However, the enemy is trying to ensure conditions for further advancement in order to take advantageous positions,” Voloshyn added.

Russian troops have taken control of several villages close to the border since they launched a surprise attack on May 10.

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