Kharkiv defense requires more long-range weapons — German FM

Annalena Baerbock
Annalena Baerbock

Ukraine requires additional long-range weapons to counter Russian advances in northern Kharkiv Oblast, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated in Strasbourg, according to a Reuters report on May 17.

The situation around Kharkiv remains "highly dramatic" amidst the new Russian offensive, she said.

It is important to cut off Russian supply routes and provide Ukraine with weapons "that can be used over medium and long distances," Baerbock said.

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"We are also working with other partners on this," she added.

"It is an extremely difficult situation."

Russian advance in Kharkiv Oblast

The Russians have heavily shelled border settlements in Kharkiv Oblast.

Russian troops initiated a new wave of counteroffensives on this front, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, announcing the redeployment of Ukrainian forces to the Kharkiv sector.

Read also: Frontline in Kharkiv Oblast nears stabilization - Ukrainian military

Russia had tactical successes near Vovchansk on May 13, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff reported, adding that the situation on the Kharkiv front remained difficult.

The attack on Vovchansk and an attempt to encircle the city is a priority for Russian troops, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Vovchansk was almost completely destroyed by relentless Russian shelling on May 14, local authorities reported, adding that the situation in the city is critical.

Russian invaders were taking positions on the streets of Vovchansk on May 15, Vovchansk's patrol police chief, Oleksiy Kharkivskyi, reported.

The advance of Russian troops into northern Vovchansk was later confirmed by Ukraine's General Staff.

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