Almost 2,000 evacuated from Kharkiv region as Russia claims capture of border villages

Ukrainian soldiers. Photo: Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian soldiers. Photo: Volodymyr Zelensky

Almost 2,000 people have been evacuated from Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region since Russia launched a fresh offensive against the area on Friday, Kharkiv region Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Telegram on Saturday.

Local authorities evacuated 1,048 people from the region’s Chuhuiv district, Syniehubov said, as well as 440 people from the Kharkiv district around the city of Kharkiv itself and a further 287 from elsewhere across the region.

The evacuations come a day after Ukraine’s Defence Ministry announced that Russia had begun a new ground offensive against the Kharkiv region, with Russia’s Defence Ministry reporting on Saturday that it had “liberated” the villages of Borisivka, Ogirtseve, Pletenivka, Pylna and Strilecha along the Russian border.

In a press conference on Saturday, Syniehubov told journalists that the situation in the region remained “completely under control” and that Russia’s new offensive had “not presented any surprises” for Ukrainian forces in the area.

There was no likelihood of a ground assault on the city of Kharkiv, Syniehubov added, saying that Ukrainian troops “held their positions” in the so-called “grey zone” on the border with Russia.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, meanwhile, quoted the Russian-installed governor of the Kharkiv region Vitaly Ganchev as saying that there was a “good trend” of Ukrainian troops retreating amid Russia’s offensive in the area.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that more troops would be sent to the Kharkiv region to counter any Russian advances, adding that Ukraine “understood the size of the occupier's forces [and] saw their intentions”.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.