Kharkiv Under Siege: Evacuations, Resistance, and the Plight of Vovchansk and Lyptsi

The city of Kharkiv and  surrounding areas in northeastern Ukraine have been at the forefront of the war since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Despite relentless shelling and attacks and because of Ukrainians’ toughness and fortitude, the city remains in Ukraine’s hands.

This year, there has been an escalation in fighting around Kharkiv, with Russia launching a new offensive in early May 2024.

Ukrainian forces are battling to hold back the Russian advance, with the villages of Lyptsi and Vovchansk being among the most vulnerable places. As the fighting intensifies, the number of people forced to flee their homes continues to rise. The most recent reports indicate that more than 5,900 people have been evacuated from the region, highlighting the desperate situation for civilians.


The town of Vovchansk, once a bustling community of 20,000 people, has been reduced to a ghost town due to the ceaseless bombardment. Only a few hundred residents remain, trapped in a war zone with dwindling supplies and limited access to essential services. 

Razom’s Partners and Grantees are on the Ground: 

“During the evacuations, all volunteer teams came under fire. One of the vehicles was completely shot up by the occupiers. The driver was wounded, but luckily everyone survived, thanks to the fact that this particular vehicle was armored. Most of the vehicles have “volunteer” written on them, but this does not stop the enemy. Civilians were also among the injured, who were wounded by Russian occupiers with weapons. People carry small bags with them, because there is no time to linger, and they did not plan to leave their homes. Among them are many middle-aged people (50+) for whom it is difficult to leave their home, their property, their livestock, everything that made up their life. However, evacuation is necessary to save lives,” says Vladislav Kulov, Kharkiv Media Hub, Razom’s partners.


Just south of the ravaged Vovchansk lies Lyptsi, a village of roughly 4,500 people. While not as heavily bombarded as Vovchansk, Lyptsi’s fate is just as brutal.  The village was occupied in the early days of the war by Russia and then retaken by Ukraine later in 2022. However, with the renewed offensive, Lyptsi finds itself back in the hot zone. Residents there are facing renewed shelling or possibly another occupation. 

Razom has been working tirelessly to facilitate evacuations and provide aid to those displaced by the war. 

Razom’s Partners and Grantees on the Ground: 

“We are evacuating people from Lyptsi. Indeed, not only people. Today there were two dogs, chickens with chicks, a guinea pig, and a dozen ducklings. People are scared, sometimes very nervous. Most of them have already been under occupation. They say: ‘We won’t survive another time; they will kill everyone’. The process can be very difficult, some people hope that it will pass somehow, that there is still time.” – Oleksiy Almazov, Ukrainian Frontiers (Українські Рубежі), one of Razom’s grantees. 

Your Support is Crucial! 

The people of Kharkiv and the Kharkiv region are facing unimaginable hardship. With your support, Razom can continue to provide life-saving assistance and help to evacuate.

Donate to Razom for Ukraine today and make a difference in the lives of those affected by the war.


Together, we can stand with Ukraine and help them overcome this dark chapter in our history.

/* */