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Ukrainian forces cross into Russian-occupied east bank of Kherson region

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Ukrainian forces crossed into the Russian-occupied east bank of Kherson region and took positions there, the region’s Russian-installed governor said Friday.

He said Ukrainian “sabotage groups” had managed to hide out on the outskirts of the Russian-controlled town of Kozachi Lageri, near the Dnipro River, but that they were later “cleared out” by Moscow’s forces.

“On the first day of the provocation... individual sabotage groups were able to hide on the outskirts of the settlement,” Moscow-installed official Vladimir Saldo said.

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“As of today, the Kozachi Lageri area has been completely cleared physically - there is no Ukrainian military there,” he added, in comments published by the TASS news agency.

Saldo’s comments come after Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Ganna Malyar this week confirmed that “certain (Ukrainian) units performed certain tasks,” on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson.

“We cannot give details,” she added.

Russian military bloggers said last week that Ukrainian detachments were present in the town and were shelling there, but that Moscow’s forces were still in control of the settlement.

Russia’s admission comes as Ukraine pushes ahead with its long-awaited counteroffensive to recapture territory controlled by Russian forces.

Ukraine recaptured the west bank of Kherson region last November, and has been launching sporadic operations on the east bank since.

While it has acknowledged difficult battles, including in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, where Russia says it is advancing, Kyiv says its forces have gained ground in the east.

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