Russia Mounting New Border Assaults in North, Ukraine Says

Ukraine rushed reinforcements to its northern border on Friday after Russian forces attempted to break through Ukrainian lines along several stretches, applying new pressure on Ukrainian forces already stretched thin along a 600-mile front.

The Russian assaults began at around 5 a.m. Friday with massive shelling and aerial bombardments of Ukrainian positions followed by armored columns trying to punch through at several points along the border, according to a statement from Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.

“As of now, these attacks have been repelled, and battles of varying intensity are ongoing,” the ministry said. “To strengthen the defense in this sector of the front, reserve units have been deployed.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a briefing in Kyiv with his Slovak counterpart, Zuzana Caputova, said that Russian forces were met with “our troops, brigades and artillery,” adding: “There is a fierce battle in this direction — we met them with fire.”

Still, fighting was continuing Friday afternoon. Ukrainian forces are severely depleted and sorely lacking ammunition all across the front, and it was unclear what kind of resistance they could put up against a sustained Russian advance, if it came.

The breadth and intent of the Russian push along the border also remained unclear. Military analysts have said Russia may be trying to force Ukraine to expend valuable resources in defending the region just as Russian assaults in eastern Ukraine are intensifying.

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