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Russia captures 6 villages in Ukraine’s east, prompting urgent call for military aid

Russia captures 6 villages in Ukraine's east, prompting urgent call for military aid
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
May 11, 2024 6:16 PM

Russian defense ministry claims control of six villages in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region near the border with Russia as heavy fighting continues in the area with 1,775 people evacuated

In a surprise ground offensive Saturday, Russia announced the capture of six villages in Ukraine’s east, leading to mass evacuations and escalating tensions in the region. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine urgently appealed for military aid in response to the incursion.

According to the Russian defense ministry, Russian forces seized control of five villages in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region near the border with Russia through offensive actions, including Borysivka, Ogirtseve, Pletenivka, Pylna and Sriracha.

Additionally, the village of Keramik in the Donetsk region fell under Russian control.

While Ukrainian officials reported resistance from their forces, heavy fighting erupted in the Kharkiv region near the border. Ukrainian military spokesman Nazar Voloshyn stated on national television that the fighting persisted in the border area, with efforts underway to contain the enemy.

Governor Oleg Synegubov of the Kharkiv region confirmed the intensity of the clashes, stating that 1,775 individuals had been evacuated. However, he assured residents that there was no imminent threat of a ground operation targeting Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Scores of people, including many elderly individuals, arrived in vehicles loaded with belongings at evacuation points near Kharkiv. In temporary shelters, they received essential supplies and medical assistance.

Lyubov Nikolaieva, a 61-year-old woman who fled her village with her 81-year-old mother, described the harrowing conditions they left behind, citing constant shelling and the looming threat of aerial bombs.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy emphasized the need for military support, stressing that every defensive system was vital in safeguarding lives.

He called upon Ukraine’s allies to expedite arms deliveries to bolster the country’s defenses.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces escalated attacks within Russia and Russia-held territories, focusing on energy infrastructure. In Donetsk, a missile strike targeted a restaurant, resulting in civilian casualties. Moscow-backed authorities in the Russian-occupied Lugansk region reported fatalities from a Ukrainian strike on an oil depot.

In response to the offensive, Kyiv deployed additional troops to reinforce its defense lines. Military expert Olivier Kempf suggested that Russia’s ground operation aimed to establish a buffer zone or divert Ukrainian resources from the Donetsk region.

In a show of support, Washington announced a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine, expressing confidence in its ability to repel Russian aggression. The developments underscored the escalating tensions in the region and the urgent need for international intervention to mitigate the crisis.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 5:00 PM