Russian attack on Kharkiv injureed 5, including 2 children

On the afternoon of May 18, Russian forces struck a residential area in Kharkiv, injuring at least five people, including two children, local officials reported.

Kharkiv, situated in northeastern Ukraine, has been a frequent target of Russian strikes since the full-scale invasion began in February 2022, due to its proximity to the Russian border.

Russian forces launched new offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, subjecting Kharkiv and several border settlements in the region to intense attacks.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported a series of explosions in the city at 2:50 p.m. local time on May 18. He later confirmed that several houses were destroyed in the attack, and five people were injured.

Among the wounded were two children, aged 13 and 16, according to Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

The day before, a Russian glide bomb strike on Kharkiv killed four people and wounded over 30, Terekhov reported.

Zelensky: Ukraine only has 25% of needed air defense capabilities

Ukraine currently possesses only 25% of the air defense capabilities required to effectively repel Russian attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed in an interview with AFP on May 17.

Kyiv has been urging its international partners to supply additional air defense systems as Russia escalates its strikes against Ukrainian population centers and critical infrastructure.

President Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine needs at least 25 Patriot systems or their equivalents to adequately protect the country. He also highlighted the necessity for over 100 advanced aircraft, including F-16 fighter jets, to counter Russia's air superiority.

"To ensure Russia does not dominate the skies, our fleet needs 120 to 130 modern aircraft," Zelensky stated.

According to Zelensky, the addition of just two more Patriot anti-air systems could prevent Russia from occupying the city of Kharkiv. Russian forces launched new offensive operations in northern Kharkiv Oblast on May 10, subjecting Kharkiv and several border settlements to intense attacks.

Currently, Ukraine operates at least three Patriot systems and associated equipment provided by the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands. In April, Berlin pledged to send an additional system. Furthermore, Ukraine is expected to receive another IRIS-T system from Germany in May.

European allies are also developing plans to send more air defense systems to Ukraine, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing unnamed sources.

Zelensky: Russia’s Kharkiv Oblast offensive could be first of several waves

Russia's recent offensive in Kharkiv Oblast might be the first of several waves, with Russian forces potentially targeting the regional capital of Kharkiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with AFP on May 17.

On May 10, Russia launched new offensive actions in the north of Kharkiv Oblast, advancing toward Lyptsi and Vovchansk, a town located less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Russian border and around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Kharkiv.

Zelensky reported that Russian troops managed to advance up to 10 kilometers (6 miles) before being halted by Ukraine's first line of defense. The situation has since stabilized.

"They (Russia) started their (offensive) operation. It could consist of several waves. There was the first wave (in Kharkiv Oblast), and the situation there is controlled," Zelensky told AFP.