Russia Claims Advances on Two Fronts in Ukraine During Blinken’s Visit

Wed May 15 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

KYIV: Russia on Wednesday claimed that its forces had pushed deeper into the Kharkiv region and also captured the symbolic town of Robotyne further south, one of the only prizes of Ukraine’s underwhelming counteroffensive last summer. Moscow made the announcement during US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s unannounced visit to Kyiv.

Russia Claims Advances on Two Fronts in Ukraine During Blinkens Visit 1

Russia’s advances on two fronts point to the critical shortages of manpower and ammunition that Kyiv has been struggling with in recent months, during which the Kremlin’s army has steadily eaten away at Ukrainian territory.

President Volodymyr Zelensky cancelled planned trips abroad in response to the fresh offensive, with the Ukrainian military mobilizing additional troops to Kharkiv to repel Russian advances. Ukrainian authorities had earlier announced the withdrawal of troops in certain areas, citing overwhelming Russian onslaughts and the imperative to safeguard Ukrainian soldiers’ lives.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that units of its North group of troops had liberated the settlements of Glyboke and Lukyantsi in the Kharkiv region, while also penetrating deep into enemy defenses. Additionally, Russian forces claimed the capture of Robotyne, a significant blow to Ukraine as it was one of the few settlements retaken by Kyiv during its counteroffensive last summer.

The fighting in the Kharkiv region has been described as “extremely difficult,” with reports of intense street-to-street combat in towns like Vovchansk. Ukrainian authorities confirmed civilian casualties, with three killed and five wounded by Russian fire on Wednesday alone.

Russia Claims Advances on Two Fronts in Ukraine During Blinkens Visit 2

Zelensky’s office reiterated the government’s commitment to deploying additional forces and reserves to prevent further Russian advances. The president postponed upcoming trips, including a planned visit to Spain, to focus on addressing the escalating crisis.

Meanwhile, fighting in eastern Ukraine, particularly around the strategic town of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region, has also intensified. Some military analysts speculate that Russia may be attempting to divert Ukrainian troops away from other critical areas of the front line.

During his meeting with Blinken, Zelensky requested additional Patriot air-defense systems to bolster Ukraine’s border defense capabilities.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp