Russian military says it has seized control of nine villages in northeastern Ukraine as fighting in Kharkiv intensifies

13 May 2024, 23:35 | Updated: 13 May 2024, 23:46

KHARKIV, UKRAINE - MAY 10, 2024 - Rescuers are seen at work at a house after a Russian missile attack, Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine
Rescuers are seen at work at a house after a Russian missile attack, Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Russian military has said it has claimed control of nine border villages, including Vovchansk, near Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv.

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Russian attacks in Kharkiv have intensified since surprise incursions were launched on Friday.

It has been one of the most significant ground attacks by Russia since it launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukraine's military said it had "pushed the enemy back" from the northern outskirts of the border town, claiming "tactical successes".

However, there remains concern among Ukrainian commanders about the consequences of Russian troops getting in artillery-range of the northeastern city.

In a statement this evening, the Ukrainian military said Russia had lost more than 100 soldiers since the beginning of the day.

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It added that Ukrainian troops had begun restoring old positions in the region. Meanwhile, fighting remains in 12 areas, spreading to the west of Vochansk.

It comes after the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that a new commander was in charge of troops in Kharkiv.

Kharkiv regional head Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram that the situation as "quite complicated" as Russia continues with its attacks.

Around 6,000 people are understood to have been evacuated from the region, with just hundreds left in Vovchansk.