Russian offensive possible in Sumy Oblast — Ukrainian official

Construction of fortifications in Sumy Oblast
Construction of fortifications in Sumy Oblast

A Russian offensive in Sumy Oblast cannot be ruled out, said Ukrainian State Border Service spokesperson Andriy Demchenko, Radio Svoboda reported on May 21.

"It can never be excluded, and I emphasize that this includes the Sumy front," Demchenko said.

Read also: Situation in Kharkiv Oblast remains ‘critical’ – military expert

Despite lacking sufficient forces, Russia might attempt something similar at any moment, as is currently happening on the Kharkiv front, he said.

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

"This is precisely to stretch the front line, the line of active combat, and to stretch the defensive forces of our country," Demchenko said.

Read also: Over 200 children evacuated from Sumy Oblast frontline in three days

Each component of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has its own area of responsibility on the Sumy front, and they all act in coordination. The defense in this sector should continue to be strengthened, he said.

Sumy Oblast authorities on May 14 urged residents to evacuate from the 10-kilometer-deep zone near the Russian border.

Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) chief Kyrylo Budanov said earlier that Russian attacks in Kharkiv Oblast would continue “for another three to four days,” after which Russian forces are expected to launch a major offensive toward Sumy.

Andriy Kovalenko, director of Ukraine’s Center for Countering Disinformation, said on May 17 that the Russian forces deployed near Ukraine’s Sumy Oblast are currently insufficient for a rapid breakthrough across the border.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine