Russians trying to launch offensive in Kharkiv region on rear of Ukrainian forces – CinC Syrskyi

Russians trying to launch offensive in Kharkiv region on rear of Ukrainian forces – CinC Syrskyi

In Ukraine's eastern Kharkiv region, Russian invaders have expanded the area of active hostilities by almost 70 kilometers and concentrated their main efforts on the Strilecha-Lyptsi sector, attempting to take Vovchansk and launch an offensive on the rear of Ukrainian forces.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi announced this on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

According to him, for this purpose, the enemy created and significantly strengthened the North group of forces, which includes combat units from the 6th Army and 11th and 44th Army Corps.

The Russians launched their offensive well ahead of schedule when they noticed the development of Ukrainian troops, but they failed to break through Ukrainian defenses.

"However, we understand that there will be heavy fighting and the enemy is preparing for this. Under such circumstances, we must prevent the further advance of enemy forces by steadfastly holding the occupied lines and positions, airstrikes, MLRS strikes, artillery and tank fire, inflicting maximum losses on them and creating conditions for their defeat by the actions of mobile assault groups and units with attacks to the flank and rear from different directions," Syrskyi said.

Read also: Zelensky: Working with partners to provide Kharkiv, Donetsk and Sumy regions with more air defence systems

He added that the Ukrainians must use their advantage in attack UAVs as effectively as possible, "in combination with the use of electronic warfare and effective artillery fire."

"My work was devoted to these issues, as well as the regrouping of troops and the simplification of a comprehensive support system," he said.

Syrskyi said that he had worked in all the brigades conducting combat operations in the Kharkiv region, visited a battalion defending Vovchansk, and made all the necessary decisions on the ground to ensure the stability and efficiency of the defense.

He also toured and inspected all units preparing for defense in the Sumy sector.

"I regularly report to the President of Ukraine on the situation and the progress of the execution of the specified tasks," Syrskyi said.

According to him, "it is felt that the leadership of the regional military administrations is providing maximum assistance to the commanders of units in solving all problems. The residents of Kharkiv and the Kharkiv region are actively involved and help the Defense Forces in whatever way they can."

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that as of 10:30 on May 17, the situation in Vovchansk was under control, with measures being taken to fortify Ukrainian defense lines and improve the tactical position in certain areas.

Photo credit: Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine/Facebook

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