Zelensky admits Russia may take Kharkiv

Zelensky: We may lose Kharkiv to Russia

Ukraine may lose Kharkiv if it does not receive new Patriot systems, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with ABC.

"All we need is two Patriot systems,” he said.

The situation around the city remains "very serious” and Ukraine cannot afford to lose Kharkiv, he added.

When asked whether the United States is to blame for delays in military assistance for Ukraine, Zelensky replied:

"The world is to blame.” In his opinion, "they gave Putin an opportunity” to advance.

The Patriot is an American-made anti-aircraft missile system that the United States adopted in 1982. The system can be used as both an air defense and missile defence weapon, depending on the type of ammunition.

It is believed that the Patriot is the most expensive air defence system that Ukraine has at its disposal. One battery costs about $1 billion, while the cost of a missile launch reaches $8 million. One Patriot anti-aircraft battery consists of 4-8 launchers with four missiles each, a radar complex, a control centre and a power supply source.

  • On the afternoon of May 16, Zelensky heard reports from military officials at a meeting of headquarters in Kharkiv. The Ukrainian command decided to strengthen its troops in this direction due to the difficult situation.
  • On May 10, Zelensky announced the start of a Russian offensive in the Kharkiv region. The ukrainian authorities began to evacuate local residents from the border town of Volchansk the same day.
  • On May 13, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine recognised the "tactical success” of the Russian troops in the Kharkiv direction. The next day, the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, Kyrylo Budanov, announced a shortage of forces amid attempts to prevent the advance of the Russian forces in the Kharkiv region.

Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu said that the Russian forces were going on an offensive in all directions "pretty well”.

Zelensky cancels all international visits amid Kharkiv crisis

Zelensky canceled all previously scheduled international events and trips due to the situation around Kharkiv, his press secretary Sergei Nikiforov said.

EFE agency earlier said with reference to sources at the Spanish royal residence that Zelensky canceled his visit to Madrid scheduled for May 17.

The Ukrainian leader was going to meet with King Philip VI of Spain and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to sign a security agreement. The palace did not explain the reason for canceling the visit. However, according to diplomatic sources of the agency, Zelensky's decision was due to the developing Russian offensive on the front.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Russian troops were advancing deeper into the Kharkiv region and took control of the village of Bugrovatka located southwest of the town of Volchansk. On May 13, the Defence Ministry reported an improvement in the tactical situation in the Volchansk area, as well as in the settlements of Neskuchnoye, Liptsy and Veseloye in the Kharkiv region. On the afternoon of May 14, Ukrainian officials reported fighting on the outskirts of Volchansk.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov