Russia attempts border breach into Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, Governor says

Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said Ukraine successfully repelled the Russian attempts to infiltrate the border with their saboteur units.

Russian forces tried to punch through the border into northeastern Ukraine with sabotage groups on Friday, as they intensified artillery bombardments on the town of Vovchansk in the Kharkiv region, according to the regional governor.

Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said Ukrainian troops successfully repelled the Russian attempts to infiltrate the border with their saboteur units. In a statement on Telegram, Syniehubov declared that Ukraine’s defenders “confidently held onto their positions and did not lose a single meter” of territory.

The border breach attempts coincided with a bolstered Russian shelling campaign targeting Vovchansk, a town in the Kharkiv region situated along the Russian border. Despite the increased bombardment, Syniehubov insisted Moscow did not have sufficient resources to mount a broader offensive aimed at capturing the city of Kharkiv itself.

He characterized Russia’s actions as a “provocation” rather than the prelude to a major new ground assault. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has been one of the main targets of Russian artillery since the invasion began over a year ago due to its proximity to the border.

Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could be setting the stage for a new offensive in the coming weeks, as Kyiv prepares its own long-anticipated spring counteroffensive. The alleged Russian attempts at border infiltrations suggest renewed efforts to gain positions and intelligence ahead of potential escalated battles.

The reported clashes underscore the continued hostilities raging across eastern Ukraine amid the brutal, grinding attritional war. While major cities like Kharkiv have avoided being captured, their populations continue suffering under relentless long-range Russian fires.