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Zelensky fears new Russian offensive in north-east, he says after air raid kills 14 in Kharkiv

UKRAINIAN President Volodymyr Zelensky said today he fears a new Russian offensive in the north-east, saying Moscow is gathering troops near the border.

He spoke out following an air raid over Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city which lies close to the Russian border, in which a bomb hit a hardware store killing at least 14 people. Russia said two of its citizens were killed in overnight Ukrainian shelling of its Belgorod border region.

Russian troops have overrun several villages near Kharkiv, where they originally made significant gains following the 2022 invasion but were driven back in a counter-offensive later in the year.

But fierce fighting continues along other parts of the 600-mile front line, with Ukraine’s General Staff saying “the intensity of hostilities is quite high” at Chasiv Yar in Donetsk.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived today for a state visit to Uzbekistan, claims to be angling for a “buffer zone” in the Kharkiv region rather than conquest of the city.


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