Ukraine's military chief admits 'difficult situation' in Kharkiv region | Russia Ukraine War News.

General Sersky says the situation in the northeastern oblast has 'deteriorated significantly' this week as Russian forces continue to advance.

Ukraine's military chief has admitted his forces face a “difficult situation” in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, where thousands more have fled their homes as Russian forces continue to advance.

“This week, the situation in the Kharkiv region has significantly worsened,” Oleksandr Syrskii wrote on Telegram on Sunday. “Fighting continues in border areas along the state border with the Russian Federation.”

Acknowledging that the situation is “difficult” and that the Russian attackers have achieved “partial successes” in some areas, he said, “Ukraine's defense forces are doing everything possible to maintain defensive lines and positions. “

Fierce fighting has forced at least one Ukrainian unit to retreat, leaving more ground for Russian forces in less-defended settlements in the so-called contested “grey zone” along the Russian border.

By Sunday afternoon, the town of Vochansk, the largest town in the northeast, with a pre-war population of 17,000, emerged as a center in the war.

Kharkiv regional police chief Volodymyr Tymushk said Russian forces were on the outskirts of the town and approaching from three directions. He said that the infantry fighting is already happening. Tymoshko said a Russian tank was spotted along a major road leading into the town, reflecting Moscow's confidence in deploying heavy weapons.

Evacuation teams worked non-stop throughout the day to get residents, many of them elderly, out of harm's way.

At least 4,000 civilians have fled the Kharkiv region since Moscow's forces launched the operation on Friday, Governor Oleh Senyhobov said in a statement on social media. He said there was fierce fighting on the northeastern front on Sunday, where Russian forces attacked 27 settlements in 24 hours.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that its forces had captured four villages on the border, in addition to five villages reported to have been captured on Saturday. These areas were probably poorly fortified due to active fighting and constant heavy shelling, which slowed the Russian advance.

Ukraine's leadership has not confirmed Moscow's achievements. But Tymoshenko said that Strelicha, Pilna and Borsevka were under Russian control and that they were bringing Russian infantry from their direction to attack the embattled villages of Halaibok and Lukyanci.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi said on Sunday that heavy fighting is taking place in different parts of the region.

“Defensive battles and fierce fighting continue on a large part of our border,” Zelenskyy said, adding: “The deployment of our forces behind the attacks in the Kharkiv region and the moral and motivational basis of the ability of Ukrainians to defend themselves.” harm itself.”

Al Jazeera's John Holman said the gains were “significant not only because of the terrain, but also because they are within 10 kilometers (6 miles) or so of shelling distance from Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city. will.” Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

“It also means that there is so much paper spread across the Ukrainian front, and it will probably have to divert troops from other areas to the Kharkiv region,” he added.

Analysts said the Russian push was designed to take advantage of ammunition shortages before promised Western supplies could reach the front lines. The Ukrainian military said the Kremlin was using typical Russian tactics, launching a disproportionate amount of fire and infantry attacks to wear down its troops and firepower.

Intensifying fighting in what was previously a stable patch of the front line, Russian forces have threatened to pin down Ukrainian forces in the northeast while fierce fighting rages in the south, where Moscow is also in the fray. getting off

The development comes after Russia stepped up attacks targeting energy infrastructure and settlements in March, which analysts predict could be a prelude to aggression. It was a joint effort.

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