Fierce battles take place in Kharkiv, Ukraine – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Fierce battles take place in Kharkiv, Ukraine – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech posted on Twitter: Violent fighting is taking place in the Kharkiv region along a large part of the border region. X Sunday evening.

Kharkiv Province is located in northeastern Ukraine on the border with Russia. On Friday night, Russian forces began a major attack in the region. Over the weekend, the Russians claimed to have captured nine villages near the border.

Zelensky says that the villages have turned into war zones while the Russians are trying to control them. The situation is particularly bad in the area around the city of Vovchansk, close to the border with Russia, according to the president:

– The city is subjected to continuous Russian bombing.

More than 4,000 civilians were evacuated from the area as a result of the Russian attacks, according to the district governor, Oleh Senjihubov.

Smoke rises from the ground after an attack in a forest near Vovchansk in Kharkiv on Saturday.

Photography: Roman Bilipi/AFP

Move forward in the 'gray area'

Many of the villages controlled by the Russians are now located in the so-called gray zone. This is within Ukrainian territory, but at a good distance from Ukrainian defense works and the main defense line. There were relatively few Ukrainian soldiers here.

This is what Bali Yedstepu, head of school at the Military College, told NRK. He says that the occupied villages are small and of little strategic value:

– It is probably important for the Russians to be able to say that they captured X number of villages. But beyond that, they don't have much importance.

However, the Russians can use them to build up their forces in order to carry out new attacks later.

The Russians are now about half a mile inside Ukrainian territory. They remain far from the Ukrainians' main defense line and the regional capital Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, according to Yedstepo. Ukrainian forces have now mobilized for a counterattack:

The Russians could no longer simply advance. Now they have to fight their way forward. Which is something completely different from what they were able to do in the first two days.

A residential building collapses after a missile attack

Yedstepo points out that the Russians also did not provide much heavy equipment. Many of these items were destroyed before crossing the border into Ukraine.

– If the Russians want to advance far, they must have large mechanized forces, i.e. tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery. The school principal confirms that we have not seen anything like this yet in the operations area.

The Ukrainians have regularly carried out drone and missile attacks against Russian targets on the Russian side of the border.

Sunday was the lowest 15 people were killed and many more injured when parts of a downed missile hit an apartment building in the Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine. This is according to the Russian authorities.

Parts of the ten-story building collapsed. Later, while rescue work was continuing, parts of the roof collapsed on rescuers, Reuters wrote.

A block of partially collapsed apartments.

Parts of a ten-storey apartment building in Belgorod, Russia, collapsed on Sunday after being hit by fragments of a missile.

Photo: Stringer/AFP

This is one of the bloodiest attacks carried out in Belgorod so far, according to the news agency.

Four more people were killed in other attacks in Belgorod on Sunday, according to the city's governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

The Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on the attacks.

Waiting for weapons

Experts believe that Russia is trying to seize time before new American weapons and military equipment arrive in Ukraine.

– Russia would be wise to try to achieve as much as possible before the weapons shipments arrive, Tor Bökvoll, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Defense Institute (FFI), told NRK at the weekend.

– From Moscow's point of view, this is the best time to attack, Bockvol emphasized.

At the end of April, US President Joe Biden finally secured a majority in the Senate to approve a massive new arms package worth $61 billion, or about 660 billion Norwegian kroner, for Ukraine.

But it takes time for weapons to reach the battlefield.

– Perhaps a few have already arrived. Some will take weeks, others could take several months, Bockvall said.

The new Minister of Defense

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that in conjunction with the attack on Kharkiv at the weekend Changes in government. It was announced on Sunday that Defense Minister Sergei Shogu will be replaced by former Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov.

This news comes as Putin begins his fifth term as president. Shoigu has been Russia's Minister of Defense for 12 years. He will now lead the Russian National Security Council.

Former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with President Vladimir Putin.

Former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with President Vladimir Putin.

Photograph: Alexei Nikolsky/AFP

Bali Yedstepo says Shogo was criticized for the way he managed the war in Ukraine. But it is not certain that the change will have major consequences on the battlefield:

– The worst that could happen is that there will be a more effective war in Ukraine. But there is no point in changing just one person, and then you have to change the entire system.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will continue in his position.

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05/13/2024 at 07.04


05/13/2024 at 08.28

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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