Ukraine fights Russian forces in north of border town in Kharkiv region

By Thomson Reuters May 16, 2024 | 4:36 AM

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine said its forces were fighting Russian troops in northern districts of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region on Thursday but said the invaders had been unable to break through deeper into the border town.

The capture of Vovchansk, 5 km (3 miles) from the border, would be Russia’s most significant gain since it launched an incursion into the region last Friday, opening a new front in its invasion and forcing Kyiv to rush in reinforcements.

“The enemy’s plans to penetrate deeper into the town of Vovchansk and gain a foothold there were thwarted,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in a statement.

Describing the situation in Vovchansk as under control, it said its defensive actions had forced Russian troops to reduce the tempo of their push into the north of Kharkiv region.

Military spokesperson Nazar Voloshyn said Ukrainian troops were focused on trying to prevent Russian forces establishing footholds in the region’s north.

“Our units… detect separate enemy units, the location of artillery deployments and inflict damage to prevent the enemy from accumulating forces and equipment in the northern part of the town of Vovchansk,” Voloshyn said in televised comments.

(Reporting by Anastasiia Malenko and Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Alison Williams and Gareth Jones)