Ukraine's intelligence chief foresees Russian offensive on Sumy – NYT

Kyrylo Budanov
Kyrylo Budanov

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," Ukraine's spy chief Kyrylo Budanov told The New York Times on May 14.

Like most Ukrainian officials and military experts, Budanov believes that the Russian attacks in the northeast are aimed at stretching the already small number of Ukrainian troops and diverting them from fighting elsewhere.

Read also: 30,000 Russian troops attacking Kharkiv Oblast — NSDC secretary

Ukrainian troops will be able to consolidate their positions and stabilize the front in the next few days. But the spymaster expects Russia to launch a new offensive in Sumy Oblast.

Ukrainian officer Pavlo Velychko, who operates near the Russian border in Sumy Oblast, said that Russian shelling of the outskirts of Sumy has increased recently.

"I have no idea if it means anything because those places were often shelled anyway," he said.

In any case, Ukrainian troops are "in full combat readiness," Velychko added.

Russia's offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

Russian occupation forces attempted to breach Ukrainian defenses near Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast at 5 a.m. on May 10, Ukraine's Defense Ministry reported. Ukrainian defenders repelled the attacks.

The Russians also heavily shelled border towns.

Russian forces have begun a new wave of counteroffensive actions in the area, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, announcing that Ukraine will reinforce its troops on the Kharkiv front.

There are ongoing battles for populated areas in the "gray zone" as of the evening of May 10, Ukraine's General Staff reported.

The White House suggested that Russian occupying forces are preparing for a "larger" offensive on Kharkiv

Read also: Partial evacuation of civilians underway in Sumy Oblast

Russian forces resumed assault operations near the village of Hlyboke, media reported on the morning of May 11.

Russia's troops in Kharkiv Oblast are localized in the "gray zone" and are not expanding, Khortytsia operational grouping spokesperson, Nazar Voloshyn, said during a TV interview on May 11.

The Russians had occupied several villages in the border areas of the Kharkiv Oblast, DeepState reported on May 12.

Overnight on May 12-13, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine noted that Russians were making tactical gains near the city of Vovchansk, and that the situation in the Kharkiv sector remained difficult.

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