Amid renewed assault, Russia ‘capture’ five villages in northeast Ukraine

NEW DELHI: Russia has claimed the capture of five villages in Ukraine‘s northeastern Kharkiv region, escalating tensions in the ongoing conflict. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urgently appealed for military aid as Ukrainian troops engage in counterattacks to thwart Russian advances.
Moscow’s defense ministry announced the “liberation” of five villages in Kharkiv near the Russian border, along with the seizure of one village in the Donetsk region.This offensive follows Russia’s reported incursion into the Kharkiv region, marking small advancements into a border zone from which it had been repelled nearly two years ago.
President Zelenskyy, in a televised address, emphasized the imperative of disrupting Russian offensive plans, labeling it as the country’s top priority. Heavy fighting has been reported in the border area, prompting the evacuation of 1,775 individuals. Tragically, two men were killed and two others wounded by guided aerial bomb attacks in the town of Vovchansk.
Despite assurances from Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Synegubov that there is currently no imminent ground operation threat to the city of Kharkiv, residents from border areas have fled in fear. Evacuees, many of whom are elderly, have sought refuge at reception centers near Kharkiv, receiving essential assistance.
The situation remains precarious, with aid workers highlighting the challenges of evacuating residents amid ongoing troop movements and heightened danger. Zelenskyy reiterated the urgent need for international support, stressing the importance of timely arms deliveries to bolster Ukrainian defenses.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have intensified attacks inside Russia and Russia-held territories, targeting energy infrastructure. In a retaliatory strike, a missile hit a restaurant in the Russian-held city of Donetsk, claiming three lives and injuring several others.
Analysts speculate that Russia’s ground operation aims to establish a buffer zone near its Belgorod region or divert Ukrainian resources from the Donetsk region. Despite Washington’s announcement of a $400 million military aid package for Ukraine and assurances of its capability to repel fresh Russian campaigns, the situation on the ground remains volatile.


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