Ukraine investigates Russian border breach in Kharkiv Oblast

Ukrainian soldier in the Kharkiv front
Ukrainian soldier in the Kharkiv front

Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation has launched a pre-trial probe into the incursion by Russian forces into Kharkiv Oblast, as confirmed by the Bureau's press office on May 27. 

Investigators have pieced together a timeline of the events.

Read also: Zelenskyy warns of new Russian military buildup near Kharkiv

On May 10, Russian troops overran the initial defensive line during their assault on Ukrainian positions, capturing several settlements along the border. The incursion resulted in casualties among the Ukrainian Armed Forces and civilians.

"In light of the gravity of the situation, we have assigned our top investigators and department heads from the SBI's Main Investigation Department to this case," said an official statement.

Coordination is tight between the investigative team and operational units of the Ukrainian SBU security service, supported fully by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Kharkiv Operational Tactical Group, and the Khortytsia Operational-Strategic Group.

Read also: Ukraine's Armed Forces thwart Russian breakthrough attempt in Kharkiv Oblast

As the investigation progresses, law enforcement is thoroughly examining the resource allocation and readiness of military units, the construction of fortifications, and the interactions among military units. They are also scrutinizing leadership actions in the area before and after the Russian offensive, including probing any unauthorized retreats by units.

Read also: Ukrainian Border Guard doubts Russian capability for major Sumy attack

The investigation is moving swiftly, with several examinations expected to wrap up soon.

Initial charges being considered include unauthorized retreat from duty and negligence in military service, under Articles 429, Part 4, and 425 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian forces attempted to breach Ukraine's defenses near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. Ukrainian forces successfully repelled the attacks.

At the same time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that Russian troops launched a new counteroffensive in the area.

Monitoring groups noted that several villages in northern Kharkiv Oblast were occupied.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, Commander-in-Chief of the AFU, described the situation in Kharkiv Oblast as "escalating." He said that Russian troops had extended the active combat zone by 70 km.

A spokesman for the Khortytsia operational-strategic group said the AFU stabilized the situation in Vovchansk on May 21.

Ukraine had recaptured some territory in Vovchansk, according to the U.S.-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), as of May 23.

As of May 24, the General Staff stated that Ukrainian forces stopped Russian troops in the Kharkiv sector and were conducting counteroffensives.

"The AFU had taken combat control of the border of Kharkiv Oblast," said Zelenskyy. Losses during the Russian offensive there reportedly amounted to eight enemy soldiers for every one Ukrainian.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine