President Zelenskyy cancels all foreign trips as Russia offensive mounts in Kharkiv

US aid would help the Ukrainian military buy more weapons in its fight against Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Credit: AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has postponed all foreign trips as Russia continues its offensive in the Kharkiv region.

In a post on Facebook, his office said Mr Zelenskyy ordered "all international events scheduled for the coming days be postponed and new dates coordinated".

It comes as Russia began pressing troops on the Kharkiv region on Friday, after weeks of speculation that an attack was imminent.

Almost 8,000 local people were forced to evacuate their homes following a round of shelling and a breaching of the border from Russian infantry.

Throughout the war, the majority of ground fighting has happened along the eastern border of Ukraine, but Ukraine recently noted that Russia was assembling thousands of troops along the northeastern border, close to the Kharkiv and Sumy regions.

Russia are unlikely to capture Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, but its advance has compelled Ukraine to send more troops to the region, leaving other areas more vulnerable to attack.

Forcing Ukrainian authorities to evacuate civilians is also likely to create disruption and divert resources.

Ukraine’s army pushed the Kremlin’s forces out of Kharkiv in the autumn of 2022, recapturing the region seven months after Russia’s full-scale invasion.

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