According to Ukrainian sources, the Russian army has launched a major attack in the border region near the city of Kharkiv. On Friday morning, enemy ground troops, protected by armored vehicles, advanced to break through the defense lines, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said.

The target of the attacks was the Ukrainian city of Vovchansk, which is located about 40 kilometers northeast of Kharkiv, close to the border. The Defense Ministry said the attacks had been repelled so far. The fighting continued with varying degrees of intensity. This information could not be independently verified.

There has been speculation for weeks about a possible Russian offensive near Kharkiv. There are reports that Russian troops have amassed tens of thousands of troops there. The fact that the Ministry of Defense in Kiev commented on it, not the General Staff as usual, speaks for the seriousness of the situation. “Reserves are being brought in to strengthen the defense on this section of the front,” the ministry said.

The day before, the section of the front near Vovchansk had been bombed from the air with glide bombs by Russian fighter planes. Russian artillery shelled the front Ukrainian positions overnight in preparation for the attack. The Russian military blogger Rybar also described the fighting near Vovtschansk: The first thing was to expand the combat zone and to identify the enemy positions during the battle.