Day 810: Russian forces achieve tactical success in advance on Kharkiv region

Russian forces achieve tactical success in Kharkiv region, Ukraine’s General Staff says. Russian forces take civilians in the Vovchansk community captive. A Russian air defense base in Crimea was damaged by a missile strike.

Russian forces achieve tactical success in Kharkiv region, Ukraine’s General Staff says

The operational situation on the Kharkiv axis continues to be difficult and dynamic, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a morning update on Monday. Fighting raged in the directions of Pylna-Lukyantsi, Pylna-Hlyboke, Pylna-Oliynykove, Murom-Buhruvatka. Russian forces stormed Ukrainian positions in the directions of Strilecha-Hlyboke, Oliynykove-Hlyboke, Oliynykove-Lukyantsi, Murom-Starytsya, Pletenivka-Tykhe.

In the past day, Russian forces conducted 22 assault operations in the area, of which 14 were underway as of the reporting time, according to the General Staff. 

“Battles rage for control of the border city of Vovchansk. The enemy has deployed a considerable force — up to five battalions, to launch an offensive against the city, disregarding their losses. Invading Russian forces lost more than 100 soldiers in this direction in the past day alone. For now, the enemy has tactical success,” the report reads.      

“Actions have been planned to destroy the enemy that has broken through the [Ukrainian] defensive lines,” the General Staff said.

“Our troops are carrying out defensive operations, launching strikes at the adversary, intensely using unmanned aircraft systems to conduct reconnaissance and are carrying out precision strikes to inflict maximum losses. Reserves are being deployed to stabilize the situation. Saving lives of our service members is one of the first priorities when tasks are assigned to troops,” the report said. 

DeepState, an OSINT project, follows Russia’s incursion into Kharkiv region. In their analysis released at 12:50 a.m. on Monday, the researchers said: 

“Near the village of Lyptsi, enemy forces have actually taken the villages Morokhovets-Oliynykove-Zelene and continue to advance toward Lyptsi. Intense fighting rages for control of Lukyantsi that the enemy has almost fully occupied. Enemy forces are trying to consolidate positions in Hlyboke. They are making attempts to advance with infantry, but they come under constant fire from Ukrainian FPV drones. It largely complicates the movement of Russian forces, but, unfortunately, doesn’t stop them.”  

“Around the city of Vovchansk, the enemy continues to near Vovchansk and consolidate positions on the outskirts to enter the city. Ukrainian troops fire at Russian forces as they try to hold back the push. The city is under intense fire. Evacuation of civilians continues. There were numerous reports that enemy forces had taken Hatyshche, but the information was being checked. Fighting continues to rage,” Deep State said.    

Throughout Sunday, Russian forces prioritized attempts to consolidate positions to further advance, the analysts said.  

“Ukrainian strikes complicate the [Russian] advance. [Russia] is regrouping forces in some areas and focuses on launching air strikes at towns and villages, taking it as an opportunity to deploy reserves,” DeepState said.

Russian forces take civilians in Vovchansk community captive

Russian forces are holding civilians from the Vovchansk community captive as they advance on Kharkiv region, the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office said on Monday.

“According to investigators, in the Vovchansk community, invading Russian forces have taken civilians captive and continue to hold them in a basement as they advance [on Kharkiv region],” the statement reads. They were forced into the basement on May 11, 2024, it said.  

Some of the people managed to escape on Monday. They have reached the volunteers and are now safe, the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office said. 

While in the basement, they heard Russian service members say that they should shoot civilians dead. Those taken captive were also forced to provide medical aid to Russian soldiers. 

Such Russia’s actions violate the Geneva Conventions, to which both Russia and Ukraine are parties. A violation of laws and customs of war was being investigated, the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office said. 

Between May 10 and the afternoon of May 13, police evacuated 1,741 civilians from border areas of Kharkiv region. They continue to take people from the communities of Tsyrkuny, Lyptsi, and Vovchansk to safety. 

“Russian forces do not stop launching strikes against the border areas in Kharkiv region. The cities and villages are under constant artillery and missile strikes, and bombardments. Evacuation teams of the Kharkiv region’s police force continue to work and help everyone who might need assistance,” the Kharkiv region’s police force said in a statement.

Russian air defense base in Crimea damaged by a missile strike

On Monday, a Russian air defense base located on the Ai-Petri mountain in Crimea was damaged by a missile strike. A Russian commander and another soldier were reportedly killed in the attack, the Russian Telegram channel Astra said. The number of wounded is being clarified. 

On the mountain, there is a military air defense base of the 3rd radio technical regiment of the Russian Armed Forces, the unit is also part of the Russian Aerospace Forces. The unit was formed in 2014 after Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine, and used the facilities of the 40th radio technical brigade of Ukraine’s Air Force. The regiment’s headquarters is in Sevastopol.

The base was established in Soviet times to conduct long-range reconnaissance missions and direct air defense systems. The military servicing the site lives near the base. 

Russian state-run media said Crimea was under Ukrainian missile attack on Monday. Air defenses allegedly intercepted two missiles above the sea and took down some targets in the north.  

Why aren’t frozen Russian assets transferred to Ukraine yet? Ukraine in Flames #609

In March, it has been two years since Western countries introduced an unprecedented package of sanctions against the Russian Federation. The boldest measure in this initiative was the immobilization of reserves that the Russian Central Bank kept in the West, designed to create such shock in the Russian financial system that it would prompt the Kremlin to reconsider its aggression. This policy indeed compelled Moscow to introduce controls on capital movement, a measure it had long tried to avoid. But it also served Moscow’s short-term purpose and helped the country withstand the initial shock of the sanctions and continue to finance its illegal war. Watch Ukraine in flames #609 to find out about why the foreign assets of the Russian Federation haven’t been transferred to Ukraine yet and how this could legally occur in the near future.


  • Ihor Seletskyi, Executive Director of the NGO “Euro-Atlantic Course”
  • Yaroslav Sydorovych, European Cooperation Agency