Putin’s surprise attack leaves Ukraine in an “extremely difficult” position.

Russia launched “continuous bombing” on Kharkiv on Saturday, according to a statement issued by the center National Police. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received two media briefings from his supreme commander, Alexander Sersky, on Saturday.

Russia attacked with air strikes in Vilcha, Liptse, Liman, Izbitskoye, Veseloy, Petrovka, Kazachia Luban, Sinelnikovo and Volchansk in Kharkiv, according to a security source. appreciation From the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The head of the Vovchansk Military Administration, Tamaz Hambarashvili, said the situation was “extremely difficult.”

Russia has focused its war efforts primarily on Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, making only marginal gains. But in recent weeks, Russia has focused its attacks on… Energy infrastructure In what may be an attempt to prepare for further assault, the Associated Press reported.

The timing is sensitive for Ukraine, which has been suffering from enormous pressure on its army and resources in recent months. The focus of the attack is likely to be directed towards… Obstruction of Ukrainian resources Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War said the meeting in Kharkiv aims to ease Ukraine’s focus on thwarting Russian attacks in eastern Ukraine. The operation has so far given Russia “significant gains tactically,” the institute said.

Russia claimed to have captured five villages between Kharkiv and Russia.

Russia began its surprise attack in Vovchansk Oleg Sinigubov, head of the regional administration, said in a post on the Telegram app that the attack was carried out on Friday three miles from the Russian border, killing at least two civilians.

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Ukraine regained Vovchansk from Russian occupation early in the war.

Nearly 1,000 residents were evacuated from Kharkiv between Friday and Saturday, according to national police figures.

According to AP journalists on the ground, Buildings were destroyed Others caught fire on Saturday. Sky News There were reports of smoke billowing from the buildings.

Ukraine Zelensky said in a speech on Saturday that Russia is working to strengthen its positions in Kharkiv.

“Our defense operations continue in the Kharkiv region,” Zelensky said. “Disrupting Russian offensive plans is now mission number one. Accomplishing this mission depends on every soldier, every sergeant, every officer.”

The attack comes weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin hinted that he might seek to create what he called a “buffer” zone between Russia and Ukraine – but only on Ukrainian territory. Analysts at the time believed that his statements could lay the foundation for the imposition of a zone on Ukrainian territory that would be drawn as a peaceful buffer zone between Ukraine and Russia, when in fact it might be a cover for the forced annexation of Ukrainian territory by another name.

The operation is also likely aimed at pushing Ukrainian forces back from Belgorod in Russia as well, according to ISW.

“Russian forces are likely to take advantage of their tactical foothold in northern Kharkiv Oblast in the coming days to intensify offensive operations and pursue the initial phase of an offensive effort likely aimed at pushing Ukrainian forces away from the border with Belgorod Oblast,” ISW analysts said.

Ukrainian forces have been launching attacks on Belgorod for months, which has put Russia on the defensive, as it evacuates residents while Ukraine takes the fighting to Russian territory.

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