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Street fighting ongoing, no fortifications or mines on border — Ukrainian Armed Forces commander Yaroslavskyi on Vovchansk

12 May, 2024 Sunday

On May 12, the commander of a Ukrainian intelligence unit Denys Yaroslavskyi described the situation in Vovchansk, sharing the reasons for the Russian troops' rapid advance in this area


He shared a post from the scene on Facebook.

“Vovchansk is... difficult. Today, the 57th Brigade's air strike reconnaissance stopped the advance of Storm Z. The brigade artillery worked perfectly and finished off Z Company along with their fire support equipment. But the enemy is gathering reserves. Street fighting has begun, the city is being surrounded. I say this because we can die and no one will hear the truth. What's the point of all this?” the post reads.

Denys Yaroslavskyi notes that there was no first line of fortifications or mines on this section of the front. 

“The enemy freely entered the gray zone, along the entire border line, which in principle should not have been gray!” the serviceman is indignant.

“In 2 years, there should have been concrete fortifications 3 floors deep on the Ukrainian border! And there were not even mines. We are coming to the conclusion that this is either crazy theft or deliberate sabotage,” Yaroslavskyi emphasized.

He noted that due to the lack of fortifications, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are losing people and territory again, as they did in 2022.

“I know that 125 territorial defence group who left their positions are already giving statements that they were given acts of acceptance for the handover of fortifications that were not even 30% ready as completed construction. I hope that those responsible will be punished,” the commander added.

How many civilians remain in Vovchansk

“According to our data, up to 500 people remain in Vovchansk,” said Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, at 14:47 a.m. on May 12. 

According to him, the number of massive artillery and air strikes has increased over the past day.

“Vovchansk, Lyptsi and all the points on the northern border are under enemy fire almost around the clock. The situation is difficult. Today we received information about two casualties in Lyptsi and Vovchansk - a woman aged 46 and a man aged 74,” noted Syniehubov.

“The number of settlements where active hostilities are ongoing has increased,” the head of Kharkiv region emphasized.

Northern Kharkiv region: where the Russian troops are advancing

Currently, Russian forces are advancing into the border villages of the northern Kharkiv region, notably towards the large village of Lyptsi and the town of Vovchansk. These areas are experiencing constant shelling, and efforts are underway to complete the evacuation of the remaining civilians.

The Russian military breached the border at 5 a.m. on May 10, 2024.

As of 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, the Russian side officially reported the alleged full occupation of the Ukrainian border settlements of Borysivka, Ohirtseve, Pletenivka, Pylna, and Strilecha, Kharkiv region.

The Ukrainian side then named the same 5 villages and said that the fighting for them was still ongoing, but in the format of defense and counterattacks.

The villages of Strilecha, Pylna and Borysivka are located to the north of Lyptsi. Ohirtseve and Pletenivka are located to the north of the city of Vovchansk, Kharkiv region.

On the evening of May 11, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy named seven villages in the northern Kharkiv region where “our troops have been conducting counterattacks for two days now, defending Ukrainian territory:”

Strilecha, Krasne, Morokhovets, Oliinykove, Lukiantsi, Hatyshche, and Pletenivka.

There was also a report from the Hostri Kartuzy UAV company of the Omera National Guard special unit about the fighting for Hlyboke village, followed by Lyptsi.

On the afternoon of May 12, Nazar Voloshyn, a spokesman for the Khortytsia Operational and Strategic Grouping of troops, told the United News telethon that Russians were focusing their efforts on two areas in the northern Kharkiv region - Lyptsi and Vovchansk.

“Counterattacks continue in the areas of Lyptsi and Vovchansk, the Russians are using infantry and equipment there. Ukrainian defense is deployed there and is working effectively against the occupiers. Ukrainian reserve units are deployed where the enemy managed to advance,” emphasized Voloshyn.

  • At 12:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 12, 2024, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, assured that the Ukrainian troops are aware of the Russian plans and that Ukrainian defenders “flexibly respond to all enemy moves.”  
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