Military expert warns of unstabilized Kharkiv front, potential threats to Sumy

Sumy Oblast fortifications
Sumy Oblast fortifications

Ukrainian military expert Mykhailo Zhyrokhov has highlighted the precarious situation along the northern front in Kharkiv Oblast, where Russian forces continue their advance, and he raised concerns about potential new fronts in Sumy Oblast during an interview on NV Radio on May 15.

"Unfortunately, there's no sign of stabilization," Zhyrokhov said.

"If we carefully examine the morning summary from the General Staff, there is a phrase — 'our soldiers have retreated to more favorable positions.' This means that several streets in Vovchansk are lost. There are certain losses in other positions as well."

Read also: Russia plans to open another new front in Sumy Oblast in the coming days, former insider tells NV

"The defense line runs along the heights. The situation is indeed critical, but controlled."

Read also: Russia has enough forces near Sumy Oblast for small operations - not enough for large-scale assault

With the border with Russia in Sumy Oblast spanning nearly 600 km, Ukraine's spy chief Kyrylo Budanov warns that Russia maintains a small group of forces near the border in that sector.

"As far as I know, the Russians were or are preparing some local operation there," Zhyrokhov said.

"However, Sumy Oblast has sparse population centers near the border. Therefore, the Russians could advance along just two or three projected sectors. I believe our General Staff has devised a plan to safeguard the border."

Zhyrokhov anticipates a potential Russian advance in Sumy Oblast in the coming days.

"If any active operations or advancements are to occur, it will likely be until May 20, as coordination is essential," he said.

"In the military, it's not a matter of 'finishing in Kharkiv Oblast and then commencing in Sumy Oblast.' Simultaneous action would be most effective."

Russian forces tried to breach Ukrainian defenses near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, but Ukrainian forces repelled the attacks, Ukraine's Defense Ministry reported.

Russian attacks in Kharkiv Oblast will continue for "another three or four days," after which Russian troops are expected to "make a hard push in the direction of Sumy," Budanov said.

Read also: Russia plans to open another new front in Sumy Oblast in the coming days, former insider tells NV

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine