Russian troops push through border, engage in Vovchansk streets — Ukrainian commander

Destruction from guided air bomb in Vovchansk, a frame from video published by head of Investigation Department of Kharkiv Oblast National Police Serhiy Bolvinov on May 12
Destruction from guided air bomb in Vovchansk, a frame from video published by head of Investigation Department of Kharkiv Oblast National Police Serhiy Bolvinov on May 12

Street clashes have erupted in Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, where the border has remained unfortified and unmined, even two years after its liberation, Denys Yaroslavskyi, the commander of a Ukrainian Armed Forces unit, said on Facebook on May 12.

Today, the aerial reconnaissance team of the 57th Brigade halted the advance of Storm Z, a Russian unit known for its human wave assaults. "Our brigade artillery performed flawlessly, taking out a Russian company and their support equipment," said Yaroslavskyi.

However, he warned that the enemy is amassing reserves and street clashes have begun as Vovchansk is being surrounded. "I say this because we could die and the truth may never be heard. Then, what's the point?"

Read also: Ukrainian journalist updates on Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

An Armed Forces officer noted the absence of a primary line of fortifications and mines along the Kharkiv Oblast border, which abuts Russian territory, allowing the enemy to freely enter the entire border zone. "In two years, there should have been three-story concrete fortifications on the Ukrainian border!" he exclaimed.

"But it wasn't even mined. We're now facing losses of people and territory again, just like in September 2022. This must be either gross mismanagement or deliberate sabotage."

Read also: Vovchansk evacuation underway as 20% of locals stay amid major Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

He also mentioned that the "125 Territorial Defense Unit, who abandoned their positions, claimed they were coerced into signing off on incompletely built fortifications as if they were fully completed."

The officer expressed hope that those responsible for the lack of border fortifications would be held accountable.

Russia's offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian occupation forces attempted to penetrate Ukraine's defenses near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast at 5 a.m. on May 10. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense confirmed that Ukrainian defenders repelled the attack.

Read also: Nearly 2,000 evacuate Kharkiv Oblast following Russian assault, says regional governor

The Russians also heavily shelled border settlements.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Russian troops had initiated a new wave of counteroffensives on this front. He also announced the redeployment of Ukrainian forces to the Kharkiv sector.

The General Staff reported on May 10 that ongoing battles in Strilecha, Pylna, Borysivka, Oliynykove, and Ohirtseve in Kharkiv Oblast. Ukrainian forces also launched counterattacks near Lyptsi and Vovchansk.

Earlier, DeepState reported that Russian forces had occupied several villages in the border areas of Kharkiv Oblast.

Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi called the situation in Kharkiv Oblast “escalated" on May 12.

On the same day, National Police patrol officer Oleksiy Kharkivsky reported a significant deterioration in Vovchansk: the town was nearly destroyed, and most residents had evacuated.

On May 12, a source within military circles told Ukrainska Pravda that Russian forces were conducting assault operations in the directions of Pylyna — Lukianets and Ogurtsove — Buhrovatka in Kharkiv Oblast.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine