Strategic Ukrainian town Lyptsi faces intense Russian artillery and drone attacks

Ukrainian soldiers from the 42nd Separate Mechanized Brigade fire a self-propelled howitzer
Ukrainian soldiers from the 42nd Separate Mechanized Brigade fire a self-propelled howitzer

Lyptsi, a strategic town in Ukraine's Kharkiv Oblast, is under severe threat as Russian forces intensify their offensive with the aim of positioning artillery within striking distance of Kharkiv, CNN reported on May 23.

The town experiences nightly bombardments, with local fortifications reportedly unprepared for the onslaught.

Journalists on the ground described streets aflame following an airstrike, noting that nighttime offers the only break from relentless drone attacks. The 13th Khartiya National Guard Brigade, stationed in Lyptsi, faces dire circumstances. "The stakes here are huge," one soldier stated amid the chaos.

Read also: Zelenskyy anticipates more waves in Russia's offensive, cites Kharkiv as first target

Commander Oleksandr, monitoring drone feeds, remarked on the routine devastation: "You saw yourself how everything is burning. It is like that every night." He emphasized that the Ukrainian defenders are up against well-equipped and professional Russian soldiers, not merely makeshift forces.

Oleksandr also highlighted the inadequate preparation of defensive positions, saying, "Nothing was prepared here... All the positions are being built by the hands of infantry."

As journalists departed, a drone hovered ominously close, leading to a tense moment captured by a soldier's nonchalant response to whether it was a friendly drone: "How should I know?"

Read also: Ukrainian Armed Forces preemptive strike may have stopped Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast - FT

During a week of reporting from villages near Kharkiv, CNN observed Ukrainian troops holding their positions against superior Russian forces, often with outdated and limited artillery. In one instance, the 92nd Assault Brigade used a captured Russian artillery gun, now firing French mortar shells, while another unit relied on a Soviet-era artillery piece, restricted by rust and scarcity of ammunition.

Artun, a commander, spoke of the personal toll, mentioning shrapnel from a Russian drone embedded in his body as a grim souvenir of the conflict.

Russian advance in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian troops have heavily shelled border settlements in Kharkiv Oblast, initiating a new wave of counteroffensives near Vovchansk on May 10, followed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announcing Ukrainian forces redeployment to the Kharkiv sector in response.

Several villages in northern Kharkiv Oblast came under Russian occupation, monitoring groups reported.

Russian troops have expanded the area of active combat operations by almost 70 kilometers during the Kharkiv Oblast offensive to force the Ukrainian Armed Forces to call up to brigades from reserve, Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on May 17.

More than 10,000 people have been evacuated from the northern frontline Kharkiv Oblast since the beginning of the new Russian offensive, regional governor, Oleh Synehubov, reported on Telegram on May 19.

Ukrainian Armed Forces now control 60% of Vovchansk, where the Russians launched their offensive, said Kharkiv Oblast Administration Deputy Head Roman Semenukha.

Defense Forces were able to stabilize the situation in Vovchansk, Khortytsia Operational-Strategic Troop Grouping spokesperson, Nazar Voloshyn, said, adding that the Russian troops continue attempts to break through Ukrainian defenses near Lyptsi, Vovchansk, and Starytsia.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine