Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russian forces had pushed deeper into the east of the country and captured several villages as part of Moscow’s offensive to gain control of the Donbas.
Earlier this month, Moscow said it was withdrawing invaders from the capital Kyiv to focus military efforts on capturing Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that Russian forces had repelled Kyiv’s troops from Velyka Komyshuvakha and Zavody in the northeastern Kharkiv region and had gained control over Zarichne and Novotoshkivske in Donetsk.
Zarichne is just 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the center of Kramatorsk region, where Russian attacks this month on a train station that brought people to safety in the east left dozens dead.
The Defense Ministry warned that Russian forces are “continuing an offensive in the direction of Nyzhnye and Orikhiv” in the Central Zaporizhzhia region.
Pro-Russian separatists have controlled the Donetsk and Lugansk regions since 2014 when the Kremlin annexed Crimea after street protests toppled Ukraine’s Moscow-friendly leader.
Russia said the offensive in the east would create a land border between separatist-held territory and the Black Sea peninsula.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the feed provided.)