UNDER PRESSURE: With defenses collapsing and his constitutional mandate about to end, Ukraine's Zelenskiy cancels all foreign trips | The Gateway expert

With the overwhelming successes of the Russian Federation's forces in the north near Kharkov, and the brutal advance in the eastern Donetsk Oblast, the situation of the Ukrainian defenders is as dire as it has ever been in this war.

In this context of near collapse of Ukrainian lines at several points, President Volodymyr Zelensky decided to postpone all his foreign trips.

There is also the fact that his constitutional presidential mandate expires on May 20, which means that, after the elections are annulled, he will be an illegitimate president, kept in place by force.

The battlefield situation continues to deteriorate, with Kiev forced to acknowledge that Russian forces have invaded the city of Volchansk in the Kharkov region.

The impending capture of this place would be Russia's most important conquest in this rapid new offensive, and it forces Ukrainian commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrsky to send whatever reinforcements he can find to the region to prevent a general collapse.

Reuters reported:

“The attack keeps Ukrainian forces, which also control the 1,000km front line in the east and south, off balance ahead of what Zelensky believes could be a major Russian offensive in the coming weeks. Moscow has been slowly gaining ground in the east for months.

'The situation is extremely difficult. The enemy is taking positions on the streets of the city of Volchansk,” Oleksiy Kharkovskyi, head of the Volchansk patrol police, said on Facebook.

Dmytro Lazutkin, a Defense Ministry spokesman, said “some” Russian infantry groups had entered the city. Ukrainian forces later managed to push them back 'partially', the general staff said, but 'defensive actions' raged in the northern and northwestern suburbs.”

Russian troops captured the settlements of Glubokoye and Lukyantsy in the Kharkov region. This is because the sole achievement of the Ukrainian summer offensive, Rabotino in the Zaporozhye region, has also been recaptured by Moscow.

The city of Kharkov is now within artillery range.

Ukraine withdrew to new positions in the Volkhansk area because of 'a result of enemy fire and storming'.

“Ukraine is trying to repel the attack in the Kharkov region, while holding the line against Moscow's main offensive line in the eastern Donbas region and protecting itself from possible new border incursions.

Russia's top military spy has warned that Russia had small pockets of troops north of the Kharkov region, along the border with the Sumy region.

Due to the shortage of troops in Ukraine, they have been outmaneuvered by the enemy. When reinforcements are sent north, there is a risk of a breakthrough in areas to the east or south.

While Kiev says the Russian assault on the northeast poses no immediate threat to Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkov, home to 1.3 million people, the fact is that supply lines to the city are now under Russian control.

Politics reported:

“Volodymyr Zelensky has ordered all international events scheduled for the coming days to be postponed and new dates to be coordinated. We are grateful to the partners for their understanding,” Zelensky's press secretary Sergii Nykyforov said in a statement on social media.

[…] The Ukrainian commanders 'make all decisions based on extensive information. Additional troops are being deployed and reserves are available,” Nykyforov said.

According to media reports, Spain and Portugal were on the list of countries Zelensky would visit.”

Read more:

Northern offensive: Russian troops enter Volchansk – Kharkov city almost within artillery range – Kiev no longer has reserves available (VIDEOS)

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