President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address on Saturday that Ukrainian troops had been carrying out counterattacks in border villages in the Kharkiv region.

“Disrupting Russian offensive plans is now our number one task,” he said.

Zelensky highlighted ongoing defensive operations in several villages including Strilecha, Krasne, Morokhovets, Oliynikove, Lukyantsi, Gatyshche, and Pletenivka.

Zelensky said troops must “return the initiative to Ukraine” and urged Kyiv’s allies to speed up arms deliveries.

“Every air-defence system, every anti-missile system is literally what saves lives,” he stated.

“It is important that our partners support our soldiers and Ukrainian resilience with timely deliveries - really timely ones. The package that really helps is the weapons brought to Ukraine, not just the announced ones,” Zelensky added.

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Reports from Russia claimed the capture of five villages in the Kharkiv region—Borysivka, Ohirtseve, Pletenivka, Pylna, and Strilecha—alongside one village in Donetsk.

The Special Purpose Center of the National Guard “Omega” reported Ukrainian forces’ withdrawal from several positions in the Kharkiv region amid heavy fighting.

“The Russians are dying in packs, but they are still pressing and succeeding in some places. The night will be very difficult,” the report said.

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The soldier in the released video acknowledged that Ukrainian troops had withdrawn from a settlement, though the exact one was not specified.

“In the course of heavy fighting [Saturday], our defenders were compelled to withdraw from several more positions, and another settlement has fallen completely under occupation, now under Russian control,” the serviceman said.

He further noted that as of 8 p.m. on Saturday, fighting persisted in the Hlyboke settlement, which is situated near the dam of the Travyansky reservoir.

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“The situation in Hlyboke is currently very challenging, but our defenders, soldiers of the territorial defense, and unit ‘Kraken,’ are holding their ground,” he added.

The DeepState project reported that in the Kharkiv region, near the settlement of Liptsi, Russian troops have occupied the villages of Strilecha, Krasne, Pylna, and Borysivka.

Russian forces are attempting to establish control over the settlements of Morokhovets, Oliinikove, Lukyantsi, and Zelene. Battles are ongoing for Hlyboke, the final settlement before the Russians' main objective in the area - the occupation of Liptsi.

In the vicinity of the city of Vovchansk, Russian troops, according to DeepState, have seized the villages of Pletenivka and Ohirtseve, moving towards Vovchansk.

Russians are also making efforts to establish control over Gatishche, Staritsa, and Bugruvatka. There has been significant infantry activity observed near the latter two villages, with ongoing fighting.

According to DeepState's report, Russian forces have reached the northern outskirts of Vovchansk and are attempting to establish a foothold, leading to continued combat.

The situation is becoming increasingly complex, the report says. Russia is progressively deploying more troops into Ukrainian territory, with infantry consistently advancing in groups towards populated areas in an attempt to gain control.

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Although there is a limited presence of equipment, artillery, and aviation, there is a notable increase in the activity of UAVs and radio-electronic warfare equipment.

“The main objective of the enemy is to divert attention from other areas. However, without the introduction of reserves, the situation could escalate drastically,” the DeepState report said.

“The enemy is aware of this, and the current circumstances are increasingly compelling the Defense Forces to intervene in this region,” the message read.

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