Ukraine changes Kharkiv front commander amid Russian offensive

In the midst of the Russian offensive against the Kharkiv region, Ukraine announced this Monday the dismissal of the military commander in charge of that battle front, while trying to contain the attacks by sending reserve troops.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
13 May 2024 Monday 04:28
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Ukraine changes Kharkiv front commander amid Russian offensive

In the midst of the Russian offensive against the Kharkiv region, Ukraine announced this Monday the dismissal of the military commander in charge of that battle front, while trying to contain the attacks by sending reserve troops. Kyiv assured that it is managing to withstand the Russian advance, but Moscow announced this weekend the capture of nine towns. Ukrainian authorities have evacuated almost 6,000 people.

Yurii Halushkin, the military chief in charge of the war front in the northeast of Kharkiv, has lasted barely a month in his position. Without explaining the reasons, the military group in that area published this Monday that he had been removed from his post on May 11, about 24 hours after Russian troops opened a new breach and attacked the region from their province of Belgorod.

He is replaced by Brigadier General Mijaílo Drapatyi, who is also deputy chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in charge of the preparation and training of troops. Until his appointment in February this year, he led the 'Kherson' operational group and gained fame as one of the commanders who led military operations in the right bank of the Kherson region in 2022.

The change comes at a particularly difficult time for Ukrainian troops. “Defensive battles and fierce fighting continue along much of our border,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky summarized on Sunday.

Today, Monday, around thirty towns were under Russian fire. In several days they have made small advances in depth, but due to the width of their offensive they have occupied about one hundred square kilometers. In other heavily defended areas of Ukraine, it took Russia months to achieve the same result. The local military administration explained that the fortifications built in the area were less dense than those in other areas due to constant Russian artillery fire.

The regional governor, Oleh Sinehúbov, reported this Monday that since the start of the fighting at dawn last Friday, a total of 5,762 inhabitants have been evacuated from their homes.

Ukraine has begun sending units of its reserve to that region, the press office of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported. “Depending on how the situation develops, more troops will be added,” he explained.

On Monday afternoon, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that its troops had improved their tactical situation around the border town of Vovchansk and the towns of Neskuchne, Liptsi and Vesele, where they were defeating Ukrainian forces.

Vovchansk is under heavy fire from Russian artillery. With 17,000 inhabitants before the war, it is located 70 kilometers from the regional capital, Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city. The town of Liptsi is only 35 kilometers away. Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terejov said Sunday that the city is not threatened.

On Saturday, May 11, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported the capture of five settlements. And on Sunday four others: Gatische, Krasne, Morokhovets and Olinikove. The Ukrainian General Staff acknowledged in a Facebook message that “the enemy is currently achieving tactical successes.”

On the other hand, the Ukrainian Security Service launched several drones over Russian territory early this Monday, which, according to the SBU itself, hit a fuel depot in the Russian region of Belgorod and an electrical substation in Lipetsk, 200 meters away. kilometers from the border.

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed this Monday to have shot down 12 drones in the morning and in the afternoon, 16 projectiles of the Vampire multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) over the Belgorod region, in whose capital 15 people died on Sunday due to the partial collapse of a residential building where the remains of a downed drone fell.