Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asserts control over areas previously occupied by Russian troops in Kharkiv region

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25th May 2024 – (Kyiv) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, following a meeting with military and regional officials in Kharkiv, declared in his nightly video address on Friday that Ukrainian forces had achieved “combat control” over the areas in the northern parts of the Kharkiv region where Russian troops had advanced earlier this month. Zelensky’s statement contradicted the claims made by Russian officials.

Viktor Vodolatsky, a member of Russia’s State Duma, stated to the TASS news agency that Russian forces had gained control over more than half of the territory in the town of Vovchansk, located five kilometres inside the border. Vodolatsky also mentioned that once Vovchansk was secured, Russian forces would set their sights on three cities in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region: Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, and Pokrovsk.

Earlier this month, Russian forces made incursions into border areas of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, with the Russian Defence Ministry claiming control over approximately 12 settlements. However, Zelenskyy and Ukrainian officials have consistently reported progress in “stabilising” the area.