Russia increases troops in Kharkiv, but full-scale offensive unlikely — Ukraine's top General

Oleksandr Syrskyi
Oleksandr Syrskyi

Russia is ramping up its troop deployments, but these forces aren't enough for a full-scale offensive or breakthrough in Kharkiv Oblast, said Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, on Facebook on May 30.

Read also: Ukraine's Armed Forces thwart Russian breakthrough attempt in Kharkiv Oblast

Russia continues to build up its troops along the main axis of attack from Strilecha to Lyptsi and near Vovchansk by transferring additional regiments and brigades from other fronts and training grounds, Syrskyi noted.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) have strengthened their defenses by deploying reserves. Creating an ammunition reserve has ensured effective strikes against the Russian army and reduced its offensive capabilities, he added.

The Russians have shifted to targeting Ukrainian positions with artillery fire and guided bombs, Syrskyi said.

"In these conditions, the priority becomes the physical destruction of aircraft carrying guided bombs, reconnaissance drones, and artillery spotters, as well as protecting our troops with electronic warfare (EW), camouflage, and the use of decoys," he said.

The AFU are improving air defense control systems, automating them, and integrating them with firepower and EW systems.

The Commander-in-Chief said he reviewed each commander's readiness for active operations, resolved problematic issues, and assessed the battalion commander's effectiveness in destroying a Russian fire position.

Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian forces attempted to breach Ukraine's defenses near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported. Ukrainian forces successfully repelled the attacks.

At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that Russian troops had launched a new counteroffensive in the area.

Monitoring groups noted that several villages in northern Kharkiv Oblast were occupied.

Syrskyi described the situation in Kharkiv Oblast as "escalating." He said Russian troops had extended the active combat zone by 70 km.

A spokesman for the Khortytsia operational-strategic group said the AFU stabilized the situation in Vovchansk on May 21.

Read also: Ukraine investigates Russian border breach in Kharkiv Oblast

Ukraine had recaptured some territory in Vovchansk, according to the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), as of May 23.

As of May 24, the General Staff stated that Ukrainian forces had stopped Russian troops in the Kharkiv sector and were conducting counteroffensives.

"The AFU had taken combat control of the border of Kharkiv Oblast," said Zelenskyy. Losses during the Russian offensive there reportedly amounted to eight enemy soldiers for every one Ukrainian.

Read also: Over 5,600 acres of forests on fire in Kharkiv Oblast, mostly due to Russian shelling

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine