HomeTop StoriesKharkiv fights hard but under control

Kharkiv fights hard but under control

The fighting around the city of Kharkiv, where Russia has made the biggest territorial gains in Ukraine in 18 months, has been described by Volodymyr Zelensky as “very difficult” but “under control”.

The Ukrainian president made the comments on Thursday during a call with military leaders in the northeastern city, just 30 km from the Russian border.

Moscow launched a major ground attack across the border into the Kharkiv region last week.

This surprising move has further stretched Ukraine’s remaining and manned armed forces.

Zelensky wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian soldiers “inflicted significant losses on the occupying forces.”

He said: “However, the area remains extremely difficult. We are strengthening our units.”

Kharkiv Governor Oleg Synegubov said Ukraine was trying to “stabilize” the frontline in the region and had managed to partially halt Russia’s advance.

According to an analysis by the AFP news agency, Moscow seized 278 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory between May 9 and 15 – figures based on data from the Institute for the Study of War.

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This is Russia’s largest territorial gain in a single operation since mid-December 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Beijing, China on May 16, 2024.

Putin is in China this week on his first international visit since winning Russia’s presidential election in March [Reuters]

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that his troops were advancing on “all fronts”.

Some military analysts say Moscow is trying to force Ukraine to divert troops from other hotspots.

On Thursday, a top NATO commander said Russia does not have enough troops on the ground to make a major breakthrough in Ukraine.

“I have been in very close contact with our Ukrainian colleagues and I am confident that they will stay on the line,” US General Christopher Cavoli told journalists, AFP reported.

The intensification of Russian attacks on multiple fronts has underscored the acute shortage of ammunition and manpower facing the Ukrainian military.

The advances came ahead of a rare international visit by President Putin to China, where he met President Xi Jinping.

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During the visit, both leaders called for a “political solution” to what they called the “Ukraine crisis.”

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