Russian Forces Claims Capture of Village in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Region

Sun Jan 21 2024
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MOSCOW: The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that its forces have taken control of the village of Krokhmalne in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. A Ukrainian military spokesman subsequently confirmed that Kyiv’s forces had withdrawn from the area, marking a small but noteworthy advance for Russian forces.

The latest territorial gain follows a similar claim made on Thursday by the Russian Defense Ministry, stating that its forces had seized control of the settlement named Vesele in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. As Russia continues to exert offensive pressure in eastern Ukrainian towns like Kupiansk, Lyman, and Avdiivka, the territorial gains have been modest, with the conflict showing signs of escalation.

Moscow contends that its forces have regained the initiative in multiple areas, citing a failed Ukrainian counter-offensive last year against Russia’s 2022 invasion. The latest announcement highlights the capture of Krokhmalne, a small village southeast of the regional hub Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region. Before the invasion in February 2022, the village was home to approximately 45 people.

Russian Defense Ministry Describes Operation as “Liberation”

While the Russian Defense Ministry characterizes the operation as a “liberation” in its daily bulletin on operations in Ukraine, a Ukrainian land forces spokesperson, Volodymyr Fitio, downplayed its significance. Fitio, in an interview on Ukrainian television, stated that the captured village had “no strategic importance” and clarified that Ukrainian forces still maintained control of the frontline.

The situation in the Kharkiv region has been tense, with recent calls for evacuation by authorities due to escalating Russian attacks. Approximately 3,000 people were evacuated in response to the deteriorating security situation.

Russian forces had previously captured significant portions of the Kharkiv region shortly after invading Ukraine in February 2022, and the latest developments indicate ongoing fighting in the area, even as Moscow acknowledges occasional setbacks.


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