Russia-Ukraine war live: Ukraine says Russia attacking border in northern Kharkiv region and replaces commander on frontline


Russian forces attacking border in northern Kharkiv region, Ukraine says

Russian forces are attacking the border of Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv region in small groups in an attempt to stretch the front line, the region’s governor said on Monday.

Oleh Syniehubov told local TV:

The enemy is trying to deliberately stretch it (front line), attacking in small groups, but in new directions, so to speak.

He added that Ukrainian forces were holding Russian troops back but there was a real threat that the fighting could spread to new settlements.

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Key events

Ukraine replaces commander for northeastern Kharkiv frontline

The Ukrainian commander responsible for the northeastern Kharkiv frontline was replaced during the Russian offensive, a military command said on Monday.

Nazar Voloshyn told RBC-Ukraine media that the decision to appoint Brigadier General Mykhailo Drapatyi to the position was taken on 11 May. He gave no reason.

Russian forces have, in recent days, made small but significant gains right along the border in the Kharkiv region, according to BBC reporting.

Their advances are only a few miles deep but have swallowed up around 100km (62 miles) of Ukrainian territory. In the more heavily defended east of Ukraine, it has taken Russia months to achieve the same.

Russia claims its forces have now entered the border town of Vovchansk, which Ukraine disputes.

The town has come under heavy bombing in recent days, and several thousand residents have been evacuated.

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Russian forces attacking border in northern Kharkiv region, Ukraine says

Russian forces are attacking the border of Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv region in small groups in an attempt to stretch the front line, the region’s governor said on Monday.

Oleh Syniehubov told local TV:

The enemy is trying to deliberately stretch it (front line), attacking in small groups, but in new directions, so to speak.

He added that Ukrainian forces were holding Russian troops back but there was a real threat that the fighting could spread to new settlements.

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Here are the latest images coming out of Ukraine:

Ukrainian servicemen of the 21st Separate Mechanised Brigade get aboard a Swedish made CV90 infantry fighting vehicle near a front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Ukrainian military medics of the 47th Brigade shift an injured comrade to a stretcher at the field hospital in Avdiivka direction, Donetsk region, Ukraine. Photograph: Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
Ukrainian servicemen of the 21st Separate Mechanized Brigade fire a Leopard 2A6 tank during a military exercise near a front line in Donetsk region. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Russia ready if west wants to fight for Ukraine on battlefield, Lavrov says

If the west wants to fight for Ukraine on the battlefield, Russia is prepared for it, acting Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the state-run RIA new agency on Monday.

The Kremlin said last week that sending Nato troops into Ukraine would potentially be extremely dangerous, and that Moscow was closely watching a Ukrainian petition calling for such an intervention.

Lavrov, who has served two decades as foreign minister, was speaking at a parliamentary hearing on his renomination to the post in a new government being formed after Putin started a fresh six-year term this month.

RIA also cited him as saying that peace talks on Ukraine due to take place in Switzerland next month without Russia’s participation amounted to an ultimatum to Moscow.

He compared the situation to “a reprimand for a schoolchild” whose fate was being decided by teachers while he was out of the room, the agency said.

He said:

You can’t talk to anyone like that, especially to us.

The conference… boils down to restating an ultimatum to Russia.

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Drones launched by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) caused fires at an oil depot and power substation in Russia’s Belgorod and Lipetsk regions, a Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters on Monday.

The attack damaged “Oskolneftesnab” oil depot near the city of Staryi Oskol in Russia’s Belgorod region and “Yeletskaya” power substation in the Lipetsk region.

The intelligence source said:

Russian industry which works to wage war with Ukraine will remain a legitimate target for the SBU. Measures to undermine the enemy’s military potential will continue.

Ukraine is planning record electricity imports from five European countries on Monday after reporting significant energy infrastructure damage following Russian strikes, the energy ministry has said.

Imports are expected to rise to 19,484 megawatt hours (Mwh), beating the previous record high of 18,649 Mwh recorded at the end of March after the first wave of Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy sector.

Opening summary

Rachel Hall

Rachel Hall

Welcome to our latest live coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

This morning Ukraine time, two people were killed in shelling of the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, according to its Russian-installed mayor, Alexei Kulemzin.

Here’s a snapshot of the latest key developments.

  • Ukraine’s top military commander admitted on Sunday that the situation in the north-eastern Kharkiv region was “difficult” as Russia continued an assault in the area. Col Gen Oleksandr Syrskyi denied that the Russians had made a significant breakthrough, but said his forces were on the back foot. “[We] are fighting fierce defensive battles. The attempts of the Russian invaders to break through our defences have been stopped,” he wrote on Telegram.

  • At least 15 people were killed and 20 injured on Sunday when part of a Russian apartment block collapsed after being struck by fragments of a missile, launched by Ukraine and shot down by Russia, Russian officials said. In one of the deadliest attacks to date on the region of Belgorod, Russian officials said Ukraine launched an attack involving at least 12 missiles, including Tochka ballistic missiles and Adler and RM-70 Vampire multiple launch rocket systems. There was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Kyiv has previously said targeting Russia’s military, transport and energy infrastructure undermines Moscow’s war effort. Belgorod lies close to the border and is considered a vital stop for Russian supply lines. Russia’s defence ministry called Sunday’s salvo a “terrorist attack on residential areas”. Online footage showed rescuers searching for survivors among the remnants of the building’s stairwell, then fleeing the scene as part of the roof crashed to the ground.

  • The Russian defense ministry said on Sunday that its forces had captured four villages in Kharkiv, in addition to five villages reported to have been seized on Saturday. Ukraine did not confirm the claims.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that fighting was going on in a string of villages in the Kharkiv region. In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy also noted fierce battles in various parts of Donetsk region to the south-east. He said “defensive battles” were taking place along large sections of the border in Kharkiv.

  • The town of Vovchansk, among the largest in the north-east with a prewar population of 17,000, emerged as a focal point in the battle. Volodymyr Tymoshko, the head of the Kharkiv regional police, said on Sunday afternoon that Russian forces were on the outskirts of the town and approaching from three directions. “Infantry fighting is already taking place,” he said.

  • Tymoshko said Russian tactics in Vovchansk mirrored those used in the battles for Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, in which heavy aerial attacks were accompanied by droves of infantry assaults. “Now the Russians are simply wiping it [Vovchansk] off the face of the earth and advancing with the scorched earth method. That is, they first scorch a specific area and then the infantry comes in, and they always advance in this way,” he said.

  • At least 4,000 civilians have fled the Kharkiv region since Friday, when Moscow’s forces launched the operation, Gov Oleh Syniehubov said in a social media statement

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin removed his longtime ally Sergei Shoigu as defence minister in the most significant reshuffle to the military command since Russian troops invaded Ukraine more than two years ago. In a surprise announcement, the Kremlin said Andrei Belousov, a former deputy prime minister who specialises in economics, will replace Shoigu. Putin proposed that Shoigu take the position as head of Russia’s powerful security council.

  • Lithuanians voted on Sunday in a presidential election expected to hand a new term to incumbent Gitanas Nauseda, a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its two-year war with Russia, after a campaign focusing on security concerns in the Baltic states. Across the region, voters are worried the former Soviet republics that make up the Baltics, now members of the Nato military alliance and the European Union, could be the targets of Russian aggression in the future.

We’ll be keeping you updated on everything you need to know throughout the day.



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