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Ukraine: More than 4,000 people evacuated in the Kharkiv region

Ukraine: More than 4,000 people evacuated in the Kharkiv region

More than 4,000 people have been evacuated from border areas in Ukraine's northeastern Kharkiv region, following a surprise Russian cross-border offensive that began on Friday, a local governor said on Sunday.

“A total of 4,073 people have been evacuated,” Governor Oleg Senegubov wrote on social media, a day after Russian forces announced they had taken control of five villages in the region.

On Sunday, a 63-year-old man was killed by artillery fire in the village of Glebok and a 38-year-old man was wounded in Vovchansk, a border town that previously had a population of about 3,000, Sinigubov said.

Ukraine said on Friday that Russia had launched an attack in the Kharkiv region and made slight advances in a border area from which it was expelled almost two years ago.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said in statements on Saturday evening that Ukrainian forces carried out counterattacks in border villages in the Kharkiv region.

He added: “Disrupting Russian offensive plans is our first mission now.”

He added that troops should “give the initiative back to Ukraine” and urged Kiev's allies to speed up arms deliveries.

Authorities in Kiev have warned for weeks that Moscow may try to attack the northeastern border regions, gaining an advantage at a time when Ukraine faces delays in Western aid and a shortage of soldiers.

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