Zelensky confirms new Russian offensive in Kharkiv region as Ukraine responds with force

"Ukraine countered them there with our troops, brigades, and artillery. Crucially, they can bring in and bolster more forces in this direction, but our military and our commanders were aware of this offensive and had deployed our forces accordingly to confront the enemy with fire," stated the Ukrainian President at a joint press conference with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová in Kyiv .

Zelensky added that according to information available in the morning, Ukrainian forces had managed to halt the Russian offensive with artillery fire, but fierce fighting was continuing.

A high-ranking source in the Ukrainian Armed Forces told Reuters that Russian troops had advanced one kilometre inside Ukrainian territory near the town of Volchansk. Authorities in this border town reported that it had been subject to intense bombardment.

According to Oleh Synegubov, head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration, one person was killed and five others were injured in the shelling in Volchansk. Another man died as a result of shelling in the village of Cherkaski Tyshky in the Kharkiv district.

Earlier the same day, Ukraine's Ministry of Defence confirmed information from Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels about an escalation of hostilities in the Kharkiv region along the border with Russia. "Throughout these hours in the Volchansk direction, the enemy carried out airstrikes using guided aviation bombs (KAB). With the onset of night, Russian occupiers intensified fire pressure on the front edge of our defence with the support of artillery," read the department's statement. "At approximately 5 am, there was an attempt by the enemy to break through our line of defence using armoured vehicles. As of now, these attacks have been repelled, and combat of various intensities is ongoing. Reserve units have been dispatched to strengthen the defence in this sector of the front. The defence forces of Ukraine continue to hold back the enemy's advance."

  War in Ukraine, Kharkiv, Volchansk