Ukraine stabilizes front as Russia builds up forces in Kharkiv region

In a statement released on Thursday, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi stated that while Russia is sending in reinforcements from other areas and training grounds, the buildup remains insufficient for a major offensive breakthrough of Ukraine’s defences in Kharkiv.

Ukraine’s top military commander says the country’s forces have stabilized the frontlines in the northern Kharkiv region, where Russia launched a new offensive earlier this month that opened up a fresh combat zone. However, he warns that Moscow is continuing to mass additional troops in the area in an apparent preparation for larger-scale attacks.

In a statement released on Thursday, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi stated that while Russia is sending in reinforcements from other areas and training grounds, the buildup remains insufficient for a major offensive breakthrough of Ukraine’s defences in Kharkiv.

Syrskyi pointed to two key lines of attack where Russian forces are concentrating – around the villages of Strilecha and Lyptsi as well as near the border town of Vovchansk, where street fighting has been raging.

The Ukrainian commander also credited the “creation of an ammunition reserve” for reducing the offensive capabilities of the Russian military, suggesting that Kyiv’s well-documented artillery shortages may be easing after the United States approved a substantial military aid package last month.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that American weaponry flowing into Ukraine is helping to stabilize the frontlines against Russia’s invasion forces.

Russia opened the new Kharkiv front on May 10 with a cross-border ground assault, stretching Ukraine’s defenders as they prepare for an anticipated spring counteroffensive to reclaim occupied territories. While making incremental gains in the eastern Donbas region, Moscow’s forces have struggled to make breakthroughs elsewhere despite over 14 months of relentless bombardments.

The situation in Kharkiv underscores the continued heavy fighting and high stakes as the largest battle in Europe since World War II rages on with no diplomatic resolution in sight. Ukraine has vowed to expel all Russian occupiers from its internationally recognized borders, including areas seized in 2014.