Russian forces have launched a new assault in the northeastern Kharkiv region, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed in a post on the social media platform X on 10 May 2024.

“Over the past day, the enemy used guided aerial bombs to carry out airstrikes in the Vovchansk direction,” a city that lies 45 miles, or 75 kilometres, north east of Kharkiv, much closer to the border with Russia.

“[At] the beginning of the night, the Russian occupiers increased the fire pressure on first line of our defence with the support of artillery.

“At approximately 5AM local time, there was an attempt by the enemy to break through our defence line using armoured vehicles,” the MoD reported. Although they confirmed that these attacks have been repelled while “battles of varying intensity continue.”

Ukraine MoD update on Russia’s May 10 offensive. Credit: X.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine’s military commanders “knew about it and calculated their efforts to resist the enemy’s fire.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Prior to this on 5 May 2024, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) observed that the Russian military had redeployed a battalion of the 76th Airborne Division to Kursk Oblast as part of a larger ongoing Russian effort to gather an operationally significant force for a possible future offensive operation against northeastern Ukraine and Kharkiv City. 

Spreading Ukrainian forces more thinly

In an X post, the ISW analyst George Barros described the Russian assault in the early hours as “either reconnaissance in force or badly conducted combined arms attacks.”

It is likely that the operation is partly designed to spread Ukrainian forces more thinly along the 600-mile frontline and create opprotunities, specifically in Donestsk Oblast further south.

“If the Russian command intended to seize Kharkiv city, then Russian forces would have likely also attacked to the west and northwest of Kharkiv city as well,” the ISW determined.

Open-source information indicates that Russian forces likely have roughly 50,000 troops in Belgorod, Kursk, and Bryansk oblasts – a force insufficient to seize Kharkiv city.

Opportunism until Western aid arrives

“Russian forces are seeking to secure as much territory as possible while Ukrainian forces remain seriously hampered by personnel and equipment shortages,” GlobalData Defence Analyst, Tristan Sauer, stated.

The US have recently turned the money tap back on with $60bn of military assistance for Ukraine after several months of political manoeuvring in Washington.

“While the US and European aid packages in recent months will help to stymie and possibly counter Russian offensive actions, the Russian military retains the initiative on the battlefield at the moment as it will take Ukrainians time to rearm and reconstitute their forces.”