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Russia advances Kharkiv offensive, Ukraine’s General Staff sounds alarm

Ukrainian media report a tough situation caused by the Kharkiv offensive, with the General Staff confirming the withdrawal to new positions.

Over the past twenty-four hours, Russia advanced towards Vovchansk, according to the Ukraine’s Osint. Russian troops consolidated north of the city, in the Hatyshche-Pletenivka area. The Russians also moved west of Vovchansk, fortifying themselves near the village of Buhruvatka.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) announced on the morning of May 15 that its forces had withdrawn from a number of positions at Vovchansk, as well as to the west, in the Lukyantsi area.

In some sections, in the areas of Lukyantsi and Vovchansk, as a result of enemy fire and assault actions, in order to save the lives of our servicemen and avoid losses, the units carried out a manoeuvre and moved to more advantageous positions. The fighting continues.

Ukrainian speakers and some journalists accused the authorities and personally President Volodymyr Zelensky, who praised the Kharkiv authorities, of sabotaging the construction of fortification lines. Some military officials also blamed Defence Minister Rustem Umerov for failing to prepare a proper defence of the region ahead of the offensive. Ukrainian media published photos of the “dragon’s teeth” piled up at Lyptsi taken over by Russian troops yesterday.

The “dragon’s teeth” fortifications piled up at Lyptsi. Source: Ukrainian media

Vulnerable Kharkiv region

AFU soldiers attempted to detonate a dam in Kharkiv region during their retreat, Russian media reported. According to the latest reports, after the storming of Pylne, Russian engineers, accompanied by units of the Sever (North) group of troops, dismantled the dam. The Ukrainian forces reportedly intended to flood nearby areas in order to prevent Russian soldiers from advancing towards Kharkiv.

The Lancets played a significant part in further expanding of the Russian armed forces’ bridgeheads in Kharkiv region. They successfully hit towed and self-propelled artillery, as well as Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, which the Ukrainian forces were hastily deploying from their reserves to confront the Russian troops. The Russian Lancet is one of the most numerous and most effective drones carrying an explosive device.

The Ukraine’s self-propelled howitzer Bohdana 3.0 burnt-out in Kharkiv region. Source: Russian media

Terrific damage

The Ukrainian authorities in Kharkiv region attempted to start erecting new fortifications right in front of the Russia’s advancing Sever group. However, Russian troops promptly destroyed the constructing equipment.

Ukrainian media highlight the terrific damage from Russian combat aviation using multiple Unified Planning and Correction Module (UMPK) aerial bombs on the enemy line. According to the video, a Russian serviceman described the strikes carried out with bombs and drones on the positions previously held by the AFU forces.

This is the first one. A quadrocopter drone. And that second [ vehicle] is on fire over there. I’m gonna get closer now. (…) That one was [hit by] the Lancet.

 

Russian media also publish footage of new Ukrainian prisoners of war (PoWs) taken at Lyptsi.

On the video, Ukrainian PoWs thank the Sever group for the “warm reception”:

Thanks to the Sever group for the warm reception and liberation from the Nazi regime of Zelensky. Ukraine is for Russians.

Cancelled visits

Amid the ongoing Kharkiv offensive, Ukrainian President Zelensky cancelled his visits to Spain and Portugal, according to Spanish media. EFE reports that the cancellation is due to “the difficult situation Ukraine is facing.”

Amid the ongoing Kharkiv offensive, Ukrainian President Zelensky cancelled his visits to Spain and Portugal, according to Spanish media. EFE reports that the cancellation is due to “the difficult situation Ukraine is facing.”

Zelensky was reportedly going to pay a visit to Madrid on Friday, May 17. The meeting was supposed to be his first bilateral visit to Spain, during which he was to meet with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to sign a security agreement.

Diplomatic sources indicated that the cancellation of the Ukrainian president’s trip, which was supposed to include Portugal, was due to the difficult situation his country was going through in the face of the Russian offensive. The government did not officially announce the visit, although executive sources acknowledged preparations for it on Monday.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares avoided confirming Zelensky’s visit at a press conference at Foreign Ministry headquarters in Madrid.

On any movement of President Zelensky anywhere in the world, for security reasons, first of all, I am not going to make any comments, neither confirm, nor deny, nor add.

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