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Ukraine updates: Russia launches Kharkiv ground offensive

Published May 10, 2024last updated May 11, 2024

Russian forces have advanced into Ukraine's northeast Kharkiv region near Vovchansk, Ukraine defense sources say. Meanwhile, Russian authorities reported a Ukrainian drone attack on an oil refinery. DW has more.

A view from the site aftermath of the explosion of a Russian missile (according to the Ukrainian authorities, S-400) in the area of a cottage residential development in Kharkiv
Earlier on Friday, Russia stepped up shelling KharkivImage: Anadolu/picture alliance
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

A Russian missile strike has destroyed a number of homes in the northern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

Russia also reported that a Ukrainian drone attack caused a fire at an oil refinery in the Kaluga region.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy new arms deliveries from Ukraine's allies would help the country regain ground on the battlefield ahead of a predicted Russian offensive.

Here's a look at the latest developments in Russia's war in Ukraine on Friday, May 10:

Skip next section US does not expect major Russian breakthroughs in Ukraine, Kirby says
May 11, 2024

US does not expect major Russian breakthroughs in Ukraine, Kirby says

Russian forces could make further advances in Ukraine, but the US does not expect any major breakthroughs, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said hours after Russian forces pushed forward by 1 kilometer in Ukraine's Kharkiv region.

"It is possible that Russia will make further advances in the coming weeks, but we do not anticipate any major breakthroughs, and over time, the influx of US assistance will enable Ukraine to withstand these attacks over the course of 2024," Kirby told reporters.

He said the latest package of US military aid was intended in part to help Ukraine fend off Russian efforts to capture Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city.

"Russia will likely increase the intensity of fire and commit additional troops in an attempt to establish a shallow buffer zone along the Ukrainian border," Kirby said. 

But he added that the US has confidence in the Ukrainian forces and is working around the clock to get them the equipment and weapons they need to defend themselves against Russian attacks.

Kyiv: Russia setting its sights on Ukraine's northeast

Skip next section US announces $400 million military aid package for Ukraine
May 10, 2024

US announces $400 million military aid package for Ukraine

The White House announced the United States is providing $400 million (€371 million) in military aid to Ukraine as it resumes regular weapon supplies to Kyiv following the passage of a $95 billion bill by lawmakers.

President Joe Biden authorized "up to $400 million in defense articles and services of the Department of Defense, and military education and training, the White House said. 

The package includes artillery, munitions for NASAMS air defenses, anti-tank munitions, armored vehicles and small arms.

Skip next section Zelenskyy says Ukraine anticipated Kharkiv attack
May 10, 2024

Zelenskyy says Ukraine anticipated Kharkiv attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the military had anticipated a major Russian attack on the northeastern region of Kharkiv and had calibrated its response.

"Russia launched a new wave of counteroffensive actions in this area. Ukraine met them there with our troops, brigades and artillery... Now there is a fierce battle under way in this direction," Zelenskyy told a press conference in Kyiv.

Ukraine says Russia launches Kharkiv ground invasion

Skip next section Russian forces advance 1 kilometer into Kharkiv region — Kyiv source
May 10, 2024

Russian forces advance 1 kilometer into Kharkiv region — Kyiv source

Russian forces have advanced 1 kilometer (about 0.6 miles) into the northeastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine near Vovchansk, according to a high-ranking Ukrainian military source.

The source said the Russian military was aiming to advance as much as 10 kilometers into the region on Friday in an effort to establish a buffer zone. The source told the Reuters news agency that Ukrainian forces were fighting to hold back Moscow's advance.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry earlier said Russian forces tried to break through the border into Kharkiv, employing armored vehicles and heavy shelling in what is being seen as a possible bid to open a new front in its war on its neighbor.

"At approximately 5 a.m., there was an attempt by the enemy to break through our defensive line under the cover of armored vehicles," the ministry said.

Kyiv says it has sent reinforcements, but fighting is still raging in the border area.

Russia has also stepped up shelling the region. A local official in the town of Vovchansk said evacuations were ongoing due to intensified Russian shelling.

The reported incursion comes amid a recent buildup of Russian troops near the Kharkiv region, which borders Russia, that could herald an impending attack away from Moscow's previous focus on the Donetsk area.

Skip next section Oil refinery hit as Russia and Ukraine trade strikes
May 10, 2024

Oil refinery hit as Russia and Ukraine trade strikes

Russian state media said on Friday that a Ukrainian drone hit an oil refinery in Russia's Kaluga region.

The RIA Novosti news agency said the attack caused a fire at the Pervyi Zavod refinery that consumed three containers with diesel and one with fuel oil.

Kaluga Governor Vladislav Shapsha said there were no casualties and that the blaze was promptly extinguished.

Ukraine typically does not claim responsibility for attacks on Russian soil.

Meanwhile, a Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv set three houses on fire on Friday.

Two people, including an 11-year-old child, were shell-shocked, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram.

The Ukrainian Air Force said Russia launched two S-300/S-400 missiles at the region overnight, and Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov confirmed that an S-300 missile crashed into the city, damaging more than two dozen buildings.

Ukraine also intercepted 10 Russian directed at the regions of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson, while Russia said it intercepted a drone south of Moscow.

Skip next section Zelenskyy sacks bodyguard chief after alleged assassination plot
May 10, 2024

Zelenskyy sacks bodyguard chief after alleged assassination plot

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the head of the department that is responsible for his personal security, days after two of its officers were detains over an alleged assassination plot.

Ukraine's SBU security service announced Tuesday it had detained two colonels who were allegedly part of a Russian plot to assassinate Zelenskyy and other senior officials.

Late on Thursday, Zelenskyy issued a presidential decree to "dismiss Sergiy Leonidovich Rud from the post of head of the State Protection Department of Ukraine."

No successor was named.

Ukraine says it thwarted Zelenskyy assassination plot

Skip next section Zelenskyy says Western weapons will reverse battlefield fortunes
May 10, 2024

Zelenskyy says Western weapons will reverse battlefield fortunes

Ukraine intends to regain momentum on the battlefield with the delivery of Western weapons President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

"We are putting maximum pressure on our partners to increase weapon deliveries," Zelenskyy told a press conference in Kyiv alongside European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

"If the delivery of weapons is increased, we will be able to stop (Russian forces) in the east, where they have the initiative."

Air raid sirens went off during the press conference — a reminder of the persistent threat of Russian missile and drone attacks.

Meanwhile, Metsola said European Union needs to take responsibility for supporting Ukraine on the battlefield.

"We are painfully aware that Ukraine urgently needs more equipment and air-defense systems to defend itself against the aggressor," she said.

Russia outnumbers Ukraine in terms of troops and ammunition, and is pressing hard in parts of eastern Ukraine to penetrate deeper into the Donetsk region that it partly occupies.

Zelenskyy said Russia is gathering troops in this region ahead of a major offensive, but he added that not everything was going as well for the Russians as they thought, without providing details.

"It's not that I'm trying to lift your spirits. This is the reality," he said.

Ukraine short on weapons as Russia steps up attacks

rc/zc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)