Ukraine says it has checked Russia’s offensive in a key town, but Moscow says it will keep pushing

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In this photo provided by Kherson Regional Military Administration, a destroyed apartment building is seen at the site of a Russian army attack with guided aerial bombs in Kherson, Ukraine on May 15. (AP)

KYIV, Ukraine, May 16, (AP): Ukrainian units locked in street battles with the Kremlin’s forces in a key northeastern Ukraine town have halted the Russian advance, military officials in Kyiv claimed Thursday, though a senior Moscow official said the frontline push had enough resources to keep going.
Russian attempts to establish a foothold in the town of Vovchansk, which is among the largest towns in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region with a prewar population of 17,000, “have been foiled,” Ukraine’s general staff said in a midday report.
It was not possible to independently verify the claim.
Vovchansk, located just 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Russian border, has been a hotspot in the fighting in recent days. Russia launched an offensive in the Kharkiv area late last week, significantly adding to the pressure on Ukraine’s outnumbered and outgunned forces which are waiting for delayed deliveries of crucial weapons and ammunition from Western partners.
Russia has also been testing defenses at other points along the roughly 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line snaking from north to south through eastern Ukraine. That line has barely changed over the past 18 months in what became a war of attrition. Recent Russian attacks have come in the eastern Donetsk region, as well as the Chernihiv and Sumy regions in the north and in the southern Zaporizhzhia region. The apparent aim is to stretch depleted Ukrainian resources and exploit weaknesses.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with his top military commanders in Kharkiv on Thursday and said the region “is generally under control.” However, he acknowledged on social media that the situation is “extremely difficult” and said Ukraine was again strengthening its units in Kharkiv.

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