Russia says captured two villages in eastern Ukraine

Russia says captured two villages in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW (AFP) : Russia said on Monday its forces had captured two more villages in eastern Ukraine — one in the Donetsk region, and another in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

In a daily briefing, the defense ministry said its troops had “liberated the village of Netailove in the Donetsk region” and “Ivanivka in the Kharkiv region,” the latest in a string of Russian territorial gains over recent weeks.

Russia launched a major new ground assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region two weeks ago, though the latest claim of captured territory is in a part of the front line further east, where fighting has been raging for months.

Moscow is looking to press its advantage on the battlefield while long-awaited US weapons are making their way to Ukrainian troops on the front lines.

Its advances in the Kharkiv region have been the most significant for 18 months, according to AFP calculations of territory captured by Russian troops.

Kyiv has rushed reinforcements to the area and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned it could be the first wave of a Russian summer offensive.