Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) light infantry patrols operating in the north-eastern Kharkiv sector have pushed all the way to the border with Russia, according to one source firing on Russian Federation (RF) targets on the other side of the line.
Official Ukrainian statements, independent news reports, local social media, and RF state-controlled news platforms on Friday said UAF advance elements had closed on Ukraine’s border with Russia at multiple locations, Fighting according to those reports was in progress for the Ukraine-side border villages of Lipsy, Vesele, Kozacha Lopan’, Pitomik and Russki Tishy, all to Kharkiv’s north.
According to Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) May 13 morning situation report, RF resistance in the Kharkiv sector was generally light, and the Kremlin’s forces currently were trying to build up delaying defenses in Russki Tishy.
A hodge-podge mix of UAF Territorial Defense, volunteer, National Guard, and special operations forces launched an offensive in the second half of April initially aimed at pushing RF artillery far enough away from Kharkiv to end bombardments of civilian homes and businesses, by recapturing villages and terrain near the city. The UAF advances had accelerated in early May with the Ukrainian attackers wielding beefed-up firepower thanks to captured RF equipment, and a Kremlin shifted of troops out of the Kharkiv sector in a bid to reinforce a major offensive further east, in the Donbas region.
Video images made public by the RF state-controlled news platform Readovka on May 13 showed scattered mortar or artillery strikes purportedly hitting fields and homes near the Solokhi, some 10 km inside Russia. There was no outside confirmation of the bombardment, but both UAF-associated social media and RF-associated news platforms repeated reports that UAF infantry and light vehicles had reached the Russian border in the vicinity.
Another UAF advance to Kharkiv’s north-west, along the right bank of the Seviersky Donets river, was on Friday per multiple reports pushing infantry into the village Rubizhne, against moderate RF resistance. If captured, the village would give the Ukrainians control of a tactically-important bridge across the river, and potentially threaten an RF logistics and supply center less than 10 km distant.
A May 13 statement from Ukraine’s Prosecutor’s Office said that UAF police arrested the mayor of Stary Saltiv, shortly after troops liberated the village, on possible charges of collaboration and treason. The Kharkiv region Prosecutor’s Office the same day published a photograph of two masked officers standing next to the male suspect, who was not named and whose facial image was pixelated.
According to the prosecutor’s statements, the official cooperated with RF military in the village, provided them government-owned vehicles and food, identified UAF sympathizers to RF authorities, and attempted to convince other officials and village residents to use only the Russian language and reject the Ukrainian state. The suspect was detained pending formal charges, the statement said.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter