Vovchansk evacuation underway as 20% of locals stay amid major Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast

Evacuation of a family from Vovchansk (archive photo)
Evacuation of a family from Vovchansk (archive photo)

Up to 20% of local residents still remain in the town of Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast, spokesperson for the Kharkiv Oblast Prosecutor's Office, Dmytro Chubenko, said on May 10, on Kyiv24 TV channel.

The current intensification of Russian activity in Kharkiv Oblast is the largest in the past 12 months.

“There are certain attempts by the enemy to advance and strike at the border settlements of our region,” Chubenko said.

Read also: Ukrainian Armed Forces repel Russian attack in Kharkiv Oblast

“As for the evacuation, there are only a few houses remaining in Vovchansk and Kupyansk, as well as in the border villages of Derhachi district, which people have not yet left.”

In most cases, elderly people refuse to leave, while others refuse to evacuate because of their pets.

“There are some settlements where there is a forced evacuation,” said the spokesman.

“There are several waves of forced evacuation when the settlement becomes dangerous in some way.”

Read also: Russia has launched counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, President Zelenskyy confirms

Forced evacuation is primarily applied to children. If the situation escalates, adults will be forcibly evacuated.

“There is no mandatory evacuation in Vovchansk yet, so about 10-20% of the local population remains there,” Chubenko said.

Tamaz Hambarashvili, head of the Vovchansk administration, said earlier that Kharkiv Oblast authorities are evacuating the population from the Vovchansk community because of the intensified shelling and after Russia’s attempts to advance in the north of the region.

Russian offensive near Vovchansk, Kharkiv Oblast on May 10

Russian invasion forces attempted an assault near Vovchansk at 5 a.m. on May 10, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported. Reserve units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were sent to Kharkiv Oblast, and “battles of varying intensity are ongoing,” the ministry said.

The head of the Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration, Oleh Synehubov, earlier confirmed the intensification of shelling in Vovchansk and the work of Russian sabotage and reconnaissance groups. He believes the enemy grouping does not pose a threat to the city of Kharkiv.

DeepState analysts also reported that the aggressor has intensified its activities in Kharkiv Oblast. The Russian Federation is trying to enter and gain a foothold in a number of settlements along the border, in particular, in the villages of Strilecha - Krasne - Pylna - Borysivka. There are also attempts by the enemy to enter the settlements of Hatyshche and Pletenivka.

Read also: Failed Russian attempt to create buffer zone in Kharkiv Oblast results in civilian casualties

According to Reuters sources, the Russians have advanced 1 kilometer near Vovchansk to create a buffer zone.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Russian troops had launched counteroffensive actions in Kharkiv Oblast. Ukrainian forces were aware of the enemy’s plans, so they met the Russian assault with fire.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine