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Russia opens new front: Offensive on Kharkiv and east of Ukraine review

Russia opens new front: Offensive on Kharkiv and east of Ukraine review Ukrainian troops try to stop the Russians in the north of Kharkiv region (photo: RBC-Ukraine, Vitalii Nosach)

Where the Russian troops have advanced on the frontline over the week and whether the Ukrainian Defense Forces can stop the occupiers in the north of Kharkiv region - read in the RBC-Ukraine article.


Russian troops opened a new front in the North, striking at the territories they were forced to leave 19 months ago. The Russian occupiers launched an offensive in the Kharkiv region while continuing to attack and move in almost all other areas of the front.

North of Kharkiv region

In the morning a week ago, Russian troops broke through from the territory of the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation in two areas of the Kharkiv region: towards Hlyboke and Lukianets and simultaneously towards Vovchansk. The choice of these areas is quite logical from the point of view of military affairs and geography. In the area from Strilecha to Hlyboke, the Russians are moving from north to south along the Travianske reservoir. It is located on the Kharkiv River and is a natural safeguard against a flanking attack by our troops. In the direction of Vovchansk, Russia is advancing along the Siverskyi Donets River.

In the so-called Volchansk sector, the Russian occupants managed to capture the settlements of Ohirtseve, Pletenivka, and Hatyshche in a week. Recently, they have managed to push through from the northern and northwestern outskirts and into Vovchansk, where street fighting continues.

At the same time, Russian units are trying to advance into the city from the west. They want to reach the road leading to Vovchansk from Starytsia and Buhruvatka and take control of the bridge across the Siverskyi Donets near Prylipka.

Russia opens new front: Offensive on Kharkiv and east of Ukraine reviewDeepState map

In the area between Strilecha and Borysivka, Russians have occupied up to a dozen settlements. Russia's immediate plan in this area is to reach the Lyptsi - Neskuchne area. However, over the past two days, the Ukrainian Defense Forces managed to drive the Russians out of Zelene village and stop their movement on the Hlyboke-Lukyantsi line.

Given Russia's actions and forces over the past few days, it is the Vovchansk tactical direction that it considers the main one, while the other is auxiliary. All of these battles are taking place in the ten-kilometer border zone. In each direction, Russia has advanced only up to seven kilometers in depth. Therefore, we cannot speak of Russia's successes at the operational level, or even at the tactical level, and it is unlikely that we will have to.

The fact is that the entire Russian Sever group has about 50,000 personnel. The Belgorod group, whose troops are taking part in the fighting in the Kharkiv region, has up to 30,000. At the same time, according to various estimates, from 5 to 7 motorized rifle battalions are directly involved in the offensive. Neither 7 battalions, nor 30 thousand, nor 50 thousand troops are enough for any operations aimed at capturing or surrounding Kharkiv. Therefore, it seems that the maximum task for the Russians in the North is to capture the city of Vovchansk.

The pace of the Russian occupiers' advance in the north of the Kharkiv region has slowed down significantly over the past three days, but it is too early to talk about complete stabilization of the situation. Russia does not have enough forces and reserves to break through into the depths of our territory by tens of kilometers. However, they will be enough to create trouble in some other sections of Ukraine's state border in the Northeast.

East and South of Ukraine

In the neighboring direction in the Kharkiv region - on the Kupiansk-Borova line - the Russian occupiers also continue their offensive. Over the past week, Russia has managed to advance hundreds of meters in the area of Synkivka, which remains under the control of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, and Kyslivka. In this section of the frontline, Russia's goal is to push our units beyond the Oskil River. It should be expected that shortly the Russian occupants may again increase the intensity of offensive actions in the Kupiansk sector.

In the Lyman sector, where the Russians also want to push Ukrainian troops beyond the Chornyi Zherebets River, fighting continues near Tern and Yampolivka. However, they have not achieved any success there lately.

In the Bakhmut and Kramatorsk sectors of the Donetsk region, the Russian occupants continue to break through to Chasiv Yar and are making efforts to cross the Siverskyi Donets-Donbas Canal. Over the past week, they have managed to advance several hundred meters on its outskirts. Despite Moscow's desire to occupy Chasiv Yar by May 9, Russian troops have not yet entered the city.

The most difficult situation is in the Avdiivka or Pokrovsk sector. Here, the Russians are advancing on a 20-kilometer stretch of the frontline. Over the past week, Russia has managed to advance several hundred meters toward Kalynove, Novooleksandrivka, Sokol, Novoprokrovske, Nevelske, Netailove, and Umanske.

The enemy's goal in this area is to reach the city of Pokrovsk. However, if the Russians can build on their success from Ocheretyne and Keramik to the north while moving from Chasovyi Yar to Kostiantynivka (which is another operational direction), they will pose a threat to the entire Toretsk defense area of our troops. At the same time, the New York-Toretsk area remains the only one where the Russian occupiers have not been able to move the contact line, which was formed in 2014.

Russia opens new front: Offensive on Kharkiv and east of Ukraine reviewDeepState map

Another area where the situation is also not developing in favor of Ukrainian troops is Maryinka or Kurakhove. Krasnohorivka is one of the key points for the Russian occupiers here. The loss of control over the territory of the refractory plant this week is critical for the defense of the town. Russia has already captured about 50% of Krasnohorivka. In addition, fighting continues for the neighboring village of Heorhiivka. The goal of the Russians in this area is to advance to Kurakhove and further threaten the city of Vuhledar from the north.

At the same time, in the south of Ukraine, the aggressor continues to try to regain the positions it lost during the counteroffensive of the Defense Forces last summer. Recently, Russia has become more active near Urozhaine and entered Staromaiorske, which is in the Vremivsk direction. Fighting is going on there. At the same time, Russia is trying to reduce the Robotyne salient by driving Ukrainian units west of Verbove. Russia also regularly sends assault groups to Robotyne, and the situation there is difficult, but so far all Russian attempts to take this village have been repelled. In the end, the same as at the Ukrainian bridgehead on the Dnipro near Krynky.

When Russia opened a new front in the North, neither Kharkiv nor Vovchansk was its goal. Russians calculated that the Ukrainian command would be forced to withdraw all possible forces and reserves to extinguish the Kharkiv region. In the meantime, they would be able to increase his advance in Donbas. Therefore, even though a lot of attention has recently been focused on the north of the Kharkiv region, the Donetsk operational zone remains the center of the most severe fighting.

The pause in the supply of aid from the United States is still affecting Ukrainian troops. The Russians are trying to take full advantage of this to make as many advances on the front as possible until new weapons arrive on a larger scale at the front line.