Russian forces occupy streets in Vovchansk amid ongoing battles - Ukrainian DM

Consequenses of Russian shelling of Vovchansk(illustrative photo)
Consequenses of Russian shelling of Vovchansk(illustrative photo)

Ukraine's Defense Ministry confirmed that Russian infantry groups have entered Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast and are trying to gain a foothold in the northern part of the city, Defense Ministry spokesman Dmytro Lazutkin said on national TV on May 15.

"The Russian army is trying to enter Vovchansk using small infantry groups," Lazutkin explained. "Our task is to destroy the enemy, not to allow it to gather more forces and gain a foothold."

Lazutkin noted that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are effectively countering the Russians with FPV drones and artillery, particularly when the enemy attempts to bring in reinforcements by vehicle.

According to Lazutkin, effective and combat-ready Ukrainian units near Vovchansk are holding the area. "But yes, some infantry groups did enter the city," he acknowledged.

Read also: Military expert warns of unstabilized Kharkiv front, potential threats to Sumy

On May 15, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi reported on the situation in Kharkiv Oblast to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Lazutkin added that Syrskyi is currently working directly with combat brigades, and Brigadier General Mykhailo Drapaty is in charge of this sector of the frontline.

“There is a tendency towards stabilization, but heavy fighting is still going on," Lazutkin concluded. "The enemy is trying to stretch the front, to tie up our forces somewhere. Indeed, our task is to destroy them. And this is being done in large numbers."

He stated that Russian forces are suffering casualties on the approaches to Vovchansk, on its outskirts, and within the city itself.

Russian advance in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian occupation forces attempted to penetrate Ukraine's defenses near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast at 5 a.m. on May 10. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed that Ukrainian defenders repelled the attack.

The Russians also heavily shelled border settlements.

Read also: Victims of Russia's shelling of Kharkiv on May 14 up to 22, including children

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Russian troops had initiated a new wave of counteroffensives on this front. He also announced the redeployment of Ukrainian forces to the Kharkiv sector.

General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces noted that the Russians had tactical successes near city of Vovchansk on May 13, and that the situation in the Kharkiv sector remained difficult.

The Institute for the Study of War believes that attack on Vovchansk and an attempt to encircle the city is a priority goal of Russian troops.

Local authorities reported that Vovchansk was almost completely destroyed as a result of constant Russian shelling on May 14. Situation in the town is critical at the moment.

Chief of Vovchansk patrol police, Oleksiy Kharkivsky, said that Russian occupants were taking up positions on the streets of Vovchansk on May 15.

Later, Ukrainian General Staff confirmed advance of Russian troops to northern part of Vovchansk.

Read also: Vovchansk faces invasion: Russian forces advance amid ongoing battles – Bild

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine