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Ukraine says 30,000 Russian soldiers attacking amid border offensive in Kharkiv region


(NEW YORK) — ​​Ukraine said it is battling 30,000 Russian soldiers at the border near Kharkiv, as thousands of civilians have been evacuated due to heavy fighting in the region.

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine told ABC News on Monday that Russia is using 30,000 of its 50,000 soldiers amassed at the border to attack, as the Kremlin continues its new northeast offensive.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during an address Monday that he has sent reinforcements to the region as they continue to counter Russian attacks. The troops are being provided “with all of the necessary firepower and forces,” and their “results are improving,” he said.

“We are destroying the enemy’s infantry and armored vehicles,” Zelenskyy said. “At the same time, we can clearly see how the enemy acts and their intent to stretch our forces thin.”

The address came amid days of shelling in the region, including the border town of Vovchansk. Officials in Vovchansk said Monday that the town is being destroyed by mortars and cluster bombs, while gun-fighting is happening on the northern outskirts of the city.

Some 5,900 civilians have been evacuated from their homes in the region in recent days and fled toward the city of Kharkiv due to the fighting, the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration said Monday. Some 200 people still remain in Vovchansk, officials said.

During his address, Zelenskyy thanked local authorities who have aided in the evacuations “under constant Russian strikes.”

Russia’s military said in an update Monday that it has “improved the tactical situation and delivered strikes” on Ukrainian troops and military hardware in the Kharkiv region, including near Vovchansk.

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