Russia-Ukraine War

Ukraine Retreats in Kharkiv, Russia Advances, US Pledges $2 Billion in Support

Main image to the post Ukraine Retreats in Kharkiv, Russia Advances, US Pledges $2 Billion in Support

Ukraine Withdraws from Areas in Kharkiv Amid Renewed Russian Offensive

Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from several areas in the country's north-east, including Lukyantsi and Vovchansk near Kharkiv, in the face of a renewed Russian offensive. The move comes as President Volodymyr Zelensky postponed all foreign trips, underscoring the seriousness of the threat.

The Russian offensive, launched last week, has seen Moscow make significant progress in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian forces are struggling for arms and manpower, and their supply of US arms dried up over the winter due to delays forced by Republicans in Congress.

The United States is rushing ammunition, armored vehicles, missiles, and air defenses to Ukraine to ensure their speedy delivery to the frontline. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ukraine to reassure the country of continued American support and announced a $2 billion arms deal.

"I know this is a really, really difficult time," Blinken said. "Your soldiers, your citizens, particularly in the north-east in Kharkiv, are suffering tremendously. But they need to know, you need to know, the United States is with you, so much of the world is with you. And they’re fighting not just for a free Ukraine but for the free world, and the free world is with you too."

The capture of Vovchansk, located just 3 miles from the Russian border and 31 miles from Kharkiv, would be Russia's most significant gain since it launched the incursion into the Kharkiv region. The town has been the focus of much of the recent fighting, with Ukrainian and Russian troops battling in its streets.

Russia is also opening new fronts in order to stretch Ukraine's army, which is short of ammunition and manpower, along the approximately 620 miles (1,000-km) frontline. Russian artillery and sabotage raids have also been menacing Ukraine's northern Chernihiv and Sumy regions.

The pace of Russia's advance in the Kharkiv border region has slowed, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Moscow's main aim there is to create a "buffer zone" that would prevent Ukrainian cross-border strikes on Russia's Belgorod region.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09