Vice PM on humanitarian situation in Kharkiv: If necessary, we will turn to Poland for help

Vice PM on humanitarian situation in Kharkiv: If necessary, we will turn to Poland for help

If the situation in Kharkiv deteriorates, where intense fighting with Russian troops is taking place, Ukraine will be forced to ask Poland for humanitarian support for the region.

This was stated by Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Iryna Vereshchuk in an interview with PAP, Ukrinform reports.

Vereshchuk, who took part in a meeting with the Economic Mission of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) at the Polish Embassy in Kyiv on Thursday, said she had recently returned from Kharkiv. "The situation in the city remains difficult, but I was impressed by the people. Kharkiv is well-groomed, clean, people are focused and everyone understands the tasks they face. The municipal, regional and military authorities in Kharkiv are working, and everyone is aware of the challenges and responsibilities they face," she said.

According to Ukrainian authorities, the metropolis itself, located about 40 km from the Russian border, is not currently under threat of capture. The deputy prime minister assessed that the Russians attacking near the border are aiming to create panic among the population.

Speaking to PAP, Vereshchuk thanked the Polish people for their support from the first days of Russia's open invasion of her country and said that this solidarity is still alive. "We thank the Polish people for the fact that we still feel your support. At the same time, we hope that the Polish government will have reserves in case of need, when quick action is required in the Kharkiv area," she called.

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

The official recalled Polish assistance at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the activities of NGOs and volunteers who then joined in to meet the needs of Ukrainians, including in Kharkiv.

"I ask the Polish government to feel, as it did then, how serious the current situation is. We are facing a difficult winter ahead, because the enemy has destroyed our power plants and heating centres. Kharkiv and other cities need energy support and other types of assistance, and this is a city of one million people with 500,000 refugees," she stressed.

The Vice Prime Minister said that the number of refugees heading to Kharkiv is increasing due to the Russian attacks that have been taking place over the past few days. "These people have lost everything. They have fled under fire from Vovchansk, from other places where they lost their homes, where the infrastructure was destroyed. Vovchansk is almost completely destroyed. And this means a new wave of refugees, that is, even more women with children. And I would be grateful if Poland would look at the situation in this way," said Vereshchuk.

Read also: Russian army shells village in Kharkiv region, injuring civilian

As reported, since 10 May, Russian forces have been advancing on Ukrainian positions in the north of Kharkiv region. The Ukrainian Defence Forces counterattacked in the area of Vovchansk, Kharkiv region.

Late in the evening of 16 May, Kharkiv was attacked by enemy kamikaze drones, and explosions were heard in the city. There were hits in the Osnoviansky and Novobavarsky districts.

On the night of 17 May, Russians attacked Kharkiv with drones and fired from the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system.

Photo: PAP/Vladyslav Musiienko

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