Evacuation of a civilian from Kharkiv region, May 2024 (photo: DSNS).

Russian troops are attacking Kharkiv in north-eastern Ukraine, resulting in a new front along the border. Two Libereco employees were in Kharkiv until recently and provide an insight into the current situation.

New offensive on Kharkiv: the situation on the ground

Kharkiv has been under constant Russian attack since mid-April. There was no ceasefire even during the Orthodox Easter celebrations at the beginning of May. The power supply and telecommunications of Ukraine’s second-largest city have been repeatedly interrupted. Even hospitals, schools and hotels in the city centre have been attacked.

On 10 May, Russia started a ground offensive against the Kharkiv region. The situation is particularly tense in villages and settlements close to the Russian border. More than 1,700 people have been evacuated from these villages within the first 24 hours. By now, over 7,000 people have had to leave their homes (as of 14 May 2024).

We are particularly concerned about developments in the small town of Lypzi which is currently under attack. The town is only 23 kilometres away from the outskirts of Kharkiv. If the Russian troops manage to break through to Lypzi, Kharkiv can be bombarded with artillery from there. This would lead to widespread destruction, numerous casualties and further displacement. Our children’s centre in Kharkiv would have to stop its work for the time being. We are therefore in daily exchange with our local partner organisations to discuss the next steps.

Urgent appeal for donations: Support the people in Kharkiv

Our partners will remain in the city for as long as possible to continue providing humanitarian and medical aid to the people. We depend on donations to maintain this flexible and rapid aid and expand it if necessary. We are grateful for any support from individuals, schools, companies, charities or associations.

Our aid in Kharkiv: first aid, medical care and food

The X-Traverse ambulance provides medical care for villages around the city of Kupjansk.

In recent weeks, we have significantly expanded our support for the people of Kharkiv. We have provided our partner organisations with additional protective equipment and stocked up on medical supplies.

Together with our partner organisation WBWU, we have set up an emergency service. The service is activated after shelling to provide victims of shelling with hot drinks, food, etc.. Internally displaced persons and residents of remote villages are provided with food and hygiene products.

Distribution of humanitarian aid in villages around Kharkiv, May 2024.

Together with our partner X-Traverse, we are providing medical care for villages around the city of Kupjansk. The medically trained team can also be deployed for medical evacuations. Finally, we are helping the organisation Aid 46 to run first aid courses for the civilian population and thus establish a broad network of first aiders.