May 19, 2024
Combat reports and drone video arriving from the field on Tuesday painted a picture of a slowing Russian advance and fierce fighting inside the town of Vovchansk.

Senior Ukraine Commander Sacked in Wake of Big Russian Advance in Kharkiv Region

Kyiv says it’s throwing thousands of veteran reserve troops led by a top general into battle in a bid to contain the most successful Russian land grab since the early days of the war

A top Ukrainian general responsible for defenses swamped by a surprise Russian offensive into the northeastern Kharkiv region was sacked on Monday, as senior Kyiv officials vowed masses of men and weapons were deploying to contain the Kremlin success.

Brig. Gen. Yury Halushkin, commander of joint forces Kharkiv, the top headquarters for Ukrainian troops deployed opposite Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, was relieved of duties some 72 hours after Kremlin forces pushed across the border to grab at least five villages and break into the regional town of Vovchansk.

The semi-official RBK-Ukraina was the first news platform to report senior leadership in Kyiv had yanked Halushkin from his job, and major news media like the UNIAN wire service quickly confirmed the report. There was no official confirmation of Halushkin’s sacking. He took over command of the then-quiet sector in April 2024.

Although a possible Russian offensive into Ukraine’s Kharkiv region had been widely expected for months, the actual Kremlin attacks when they came reportedly found weak Ukrainian defenses, and in some cases outnumbered Ukrainian troops, many of them lightly armed Territorial Defense infantry. These retreated when hit by Kremlin tanks and artillery.

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