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Ukraine Commander-in-Chief: Russia Expands Active Hostilities Zone in Ukraine by 70 Kilometers

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi disclosed on May 17 that Russia has expanded the zone of active hostilities by almost 70 kilometers and launched the Kharkiv region offensive earlier than planned.

Oleksandr Syrskyi reported Russia’s frontline expansion on his official social media accounts.

Russia’s expansion of the active hostilities zone by nearly 70 kilometers aims to compel Ukraine to deploy additional brigades from reserve forces.

Oleksandr Syrskyi added that Russia launched the Kharkiv region offensive well ahead of schedule after noticing the relocation of Ukrainian troops, however, they failed to break through Ukraine’s defenses.

The main efforts of Russia are concentrated in the direction of Strilecha-Lyptsi and to capture Vovchansk city, with further access to Bilyi Kolodiaz village and the deployment of the offensive in the rear of Ukrainian troops.

For this purpose, Russia created and significantly strengthened the “Sever” [North] operational-tactical grouping, which includes combat units of the 6th, 11th, and 44th Army Corps.

The Commander-in-Chief stressed that there will be tough battles ahead and that Russia is preparing for it.

Ukrainian authorities stated that Russia is holding up to 40 civilians hostage in Vovchansk, where active combat is taking place.

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