Russia reports battlefield gains ahead of Ukraine summit

Published Date: 11-Jun-2024 | 12:41 PM
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Russia on Monday claimed the capture of another village in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, the latest in a string of gains ahead of a major Ukraine summit in Switzerland.

Dozens of world leaders and top diplomats are to convene for a meeting at the weekend that President Volodymyr Zelensky hopes will rally global support behind Kyiv as it struggles more than two years into Russia's invasion. Zelensky has ruled out direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and is keen to win over more non-Western countries, including those who maintain close ties with Moscow. After almost a year of stalemate, Ukraine has been forced to abandon dozens of front-line settlements this spring, with Russian troops holding a significant advantage in manpower and resources. Russia's defence ministry said Monday that its forces "continued to advance into the depths of the enemy's defence and liberated the settlement of Staromaiorske", located southwest of the Russian-held city of Donetsk. The loss of the village is a symbolic blow to Kyiv, as it is one of the few Ukraine managed to recapture last year in a largely lacklustre counter-offensive.

Staromaiorske is on the southern front of the Donetsk region, one of the four regions Moscow claimed to have annexed in 2022 and where some of the fiercest fighting is now taking place. Putin told an economic forum last week that Russia had seized 47 Ukrainian towns and villages so far this year. That includes gains in the northeastern Kharkiv region where Moscow launched a major ground assault last month, causing thousands of Ukrainians to evacuate and further stretching Kyiv's forces. US President Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Sunday that Russia's advance on the Kharkiv border region had "stalled out" after Washington partially lifted restrictions on using US-donated weapons to strike inside Russia.

 

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