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Russia claims 8k8..comadvances in Kharkiv area

中式婚礼 | 8k8..com | Updated: 2024-06-22 21:12:21

People from the village of Lyptsi wait in a minivan at an evacuation point in Kharkiv on Saturday. ROMAN PILIPEY/AFP

MOSCOW/KYIV — Russia on Saturday said it had captured five villages in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region during a surprise ground offensive that prompted mass evacuations, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an urgent call for military aid.

Moscow's defense ministry said its troops had "liberated" five villages in the Kharkiv region near the Russian border as well as taking one village in the Donetsk region.

Ukraine's defense ministry said on Friday Russia had launched an attack on the Kharkiv region, making small advances into a border zone. Later on Saturday, Ukraine's military command said Russia's ground troops had air support.

Groups of people fleeing the border area were arriving in vans and cars loaded with bags at a reception center for evacuees near Kharkiv, Agence France-Presse reported.

Around them, volunteers assisted evacuees toward a few wooden benches where they registered and received food before being evacuated toward Kharkiv, the regional capital.

"In total, 4,073 people have been evacuated," governor Oleg Synegubov wrote on social media.

Ukraine's military chief said on Sunday his country's forces were facing a difficult situation in fighting in the Kharkiv region, but that they were doing all they could to hold the line. The country's commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky said the situation in the Kharkiv region had "deteriorated significantly" and was "complicated".

Zelensky said in his nightly address on Saturday that Ukrainian troops had been carrying out counterattacks in border villages in the Kharkiv region.

Troops must "return the initiative to Ukraine", Zelensky said, again urging allies to speed up arms deliveries.

"It is important that our partners support our soldiers and Ukrainian resilience with timely deliveries — really timely ones," he added. "The package that really helps is the weapons brought to Ukraine, not just the announced ones."

Washington on Friday announced a new $400 million military aid package for Kyiv.

It is the third tranche of aid for Ukraine since Congress passed supplemental funding in late April after months of gridlock.

Kyiv has said several months of delays by the US Congress to vote through a massive aid package have cost it on the battlefield. It now hopes significant quantities of the newly approved assistance will arrive quickly to shore up the defense effort.

On Saturday, a missile strike killed three people when it hit a restaurant called Paradise in Donetsk.

The attack, using US HIMARS precision rocket launchers, killed two diners and a restaurant worker and wounded nine, officials from the Russian-backed administration said.

Seventeen people have been hospitalized following the massive shelling of Russia's border region of Belgorod by Ukrainian forces, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Sunday.

The shelling took place on Saturday, he said, adding that two of the injured were in critical condition.

"After the evening's massive shelling, 29 people were affected, 12 of whom, after receiving outpatient care, are already at home," Gladkov said.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday approved the structure of Russia's new government, which will consist of one first deputy prime minister and nine deputy prime ministers.

According to the new decree, "On the Structure of Federal Executive Bodies", which Putin signed, the new government will see a shift in the distribution of responsibilities among the deputies, one of whom will act as the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.

There is also a deputy prime minister who will assume the role of Chief of Staff of the Government Executive Office.

The reappointed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is required to submit his deputy candidates for consideration to the State Duma, or lower house of parliament.

Agencies - Xinhua

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