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Ukraine Intelligence Chief Warns of Critical Situation as Russia Advances In Kharkiv Region

Ukrainian forces are currently engaged in intense fighting, defending a northeast border. Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, described a tense situation where troop shortages hamper their ability to repel a Russian offensive.

General Budanov’s assessment is echoing concerns of other officers: “Every hour this situation moves toward critical.”

He highlighted dwindling troop numbers and a lack of crucial weapons, particularly artillery ammunition. While the US recently approved a significant arms package, it hasn’t arrived yet.

Ukrainian officials believe the Russian attack is a strategic move to stretch their thin defenses and pull resources away from other fronts.

Budanov commented the Ukrainian army is throwing all its forces to reinforce the northeast. They’re attempting to redeploy troops from other fronts, but manpower shortages are a major obstacle. “All of our forces are either here or in Chasiv Yar,” he explained, referencing a southern stronghold also under attack. “I’ve used everything we have. Unfortunately, we don’t have anyone else in the reserves.”

Despite this, General Budanov cautiously predicted that the Kharkiv assault would continue for three to four days before a forceful Russian push towards Sumy, a city northwest of Kharkiv.

Ukrainian officials have reported troop build ups near Sumy’s border. While recent shelling near Sumy doesn’t necessarily confirm an imminent attack, Ukrainian officer Pavlo Velycho assures their forces are on high alert. “I have no idea if it means anything because those places were often shelled anyway,” according to Velycho. “In any case we are in full combat readiness.”

Military experts and Ukrainian officials attribute Russia’s rapid progress in northeastern Ukraine to the lightly defended and mostly deserted terrain. The ongoing shelling along the border throughout the war has hampered Ukrainian efforts to fortify positions and forced civilian evacuations. However, the fight is likely to intensify as Russian forces approach more populated areas. Local authorities have already evacuated up to 5,762 residents since Friday, according to Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv region’s military administration

Additionally, evacuation was announced by the Sumy Regional Military Administration on May 13.

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