Progress near Kharkiv: Russia establishes itself in a “block zone”.

The Ukrainian military said units “moved to more favorable positions” in response to enemy fire and attacks by ground forces in some areas around the cities of Lugyans and Vovsansk. Moscow reported on Tuesday that another village in the region had been captured. The city of Kharkiv, about 30 kilometers from the Russian border, has come under increased shelling in recent months.

Ukrainian defenders in Vovchansk, a small town near the border, say they are coming under increasing pressure in a new offensive by Russian occupation troops. “The situation is very difficult,” local police chief Oleksij Kharkivskiy said on Facebook. Russian troops took up positions in the streets of the mostly destroyed city. The fight is fierce.

Zelenskyj: The situation is confirmed

Ukrainian civil servants said the situation in the region was “difficult”. Reinforcements are now being sent to the northeastern parts of the country. “Additional forces are being deployed, reserves are in place,” a spokesman for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday.

However, in his evening video message on Wednesday, Zelensky himself said the situation was improving. “The aggressor who occupied the Kharkiv region will be destroyed using all available means,” Zelensky said. “Artillery, drones and our infantry work very precisely.” The situation is somewhat stabilized. Zelensky said defensive actions by Kiev troops will continue, especially in the city of Vovchansk.

Proximity to the border is an advantage for Russia

Russia, which has been waging a war of aggression against neighboring Ukraine for more than two years, last week launched a fresh offensive on the border region of Kharkiv. As a result, Russian troops also occupied many Ukrainian villages. For Ukraine, which is currently in a difficult situation due to the cessation of Western aid, it is now a matter of preventing further expansion.

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Ukraine has so far complained that it does not have a green light from its US allies to attack Russia on Russian territory with US-supplied weapons. Russia massed troops near Belgorod for the attack – only Ukraine could see. During the war, Russia always attacked from Ukrainian territory already annexed after the invasion.

Blinken: No ban on attacks on Russian soil

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said at a news conference in Kiev on Wednesday that Ukraine would not prohibit US weapons from striking targets in Russia. The US will not encourage Ukraine to do this;

Blinken also announced $2 billion to Ukraine for military purposes. Blinken said part of the money would be used to supply weapons to the country attacked by Russia. Another part is reserved for investments in the Ukrainian defense sector. Eventually, the money should also help Ukraine buy military equipment from other countries.

Russia wants to stabilize itself

According to the US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia now wants to create a buffer zone along the border – to prevent Ukraine from attacking its own country. One sign of this is that Russian troops are destroying bridges over the Vovsa River.

“It is not clear why Russian forces are primarily targeting bridges that cross the Vovsa River and ensure stable logistics for offensive operations deep in the north of Kharkiv province,” ISW said. No Russian troops have yet been seen on the south bank of the river. A “militarized buffer zone” in the region has been discussed several times in the Kremlin.

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misses the attack

However, there is speculation that the offensive was too costly for Russia and that the army wanted to consolidate before advancing further towards Kharkiv. Citing Russian military bloggers, ISW reported that the military has been making its advances with smaller strike groups lately, which could be a sign of personnel shortages.

Although Russia has temporarily slowed its advance with a buffer zone, the situation in Ukraine remains extremely dangerous: according to the ISW, the Russian armed forces are bringing their artillery within the boundaries of Kharkiv, while their important logistics centers are beyond the border. Accession of Ukrainian artillery.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday praised his armed forces’ progress in Ukraine “on all fronts”. “Since this year, our troops have been improving their positions in all directions every day,” Putin told a televised meeting with senior military and weapons officials.

Zelensky canceled trip to Spain

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky canceled his trip to Spain on Friday due to the situation on the frontline, and his trip to Portugal was also cancelled. Zelensky was due to sign the bilateral defense agreement during a visit to Madrid by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. And a meeting with King Philip VI. planned.

Attacks on Crimea

The Russian air force has repelled a “heavy airstrike” by Ukraine on the city of Sevastopol in the Russian-annexed Ukrainian Crimean peninsula, the region’s governor said. Debris from the rocket fell on a residential area, Mikhail Rasvoshayev, the governor of the Russian-designated port city of Crimea, said on his Telegram channel.

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According to initial reports, no one was injured. Russian air defenses destroyed ten US ATACMS missiles over the Black Sea peninsula overnight, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said. Russia said it also intercepted several Ukrainian drones targeting a fuel depot in the southern city of Rostov.

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