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Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy declares control regained in parts of conflict-stricken Kharkiv region

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy: Ukrainian Forces Secure Combat Control in Kharkiv Region

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Friday that Ukrainian forces have successfully secured “combat control” of areas where Russian troops had previously entered in the northeastern Kharkiv region earlier this month. This development marks a significant advancement in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

In his nightly video address, President Zelenskyy stated, “Our soldiers have now managed to take combat control of the border area where the Russian occupiers entered.” This statement contradicts claims made by Russian officials, such as Viktor Vodolatskiy, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, who reported that Russian forces now controlled more than half of the town of Vovchansk, located three miles inside the border.

Vovchansk has been a focal point for fighting since Russia initiated an offensive in the Kharkiv region on May 10. Vodolatskiy also mentioned that Russian forces would target the cities of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Pokrovsk in the neighboring Donetsk region once Vovchansk was secured.

The Russian push in the Kharkiv region is part of a larger coordinated offensive that includes incursions in the northern Sumy and Chernihiv regions, as well as testing Ukrainian defenses in the Donetsk region further south. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the goal of the offensive is to create a “buffer zone” in Kharkiv to prevent Ukrainian cross-border attacks.

The city of Kharkiv, located about 20 kilometers from the Russian border, has been a key target for Moscow’s troops in recent weeks. Ukrainian authorities have evacuated over 11,000 people from the region since the start of the offensive as part of efforts to protect civilians.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine represents a significant challenge for the country’s forces, who are facing a much larger adversary. The war between Ukraine and Russia has reached a critical point, with Ukrainian forces being pressed at multiple points along the front line that spans approximately 1,000 kilometers in eastern Ukraine.

As the situation continues to unfold, the world watches closely to see how Ukraine will navigate this challenging period. Follow the latest updates on the conflict in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.

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