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Russia says its forces captured Ukraine’s village of Severne near Avdiivka

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Russia’s defense ministry said on Tuesday its forces had made further progress in eastern Ukraine by taking control of the village of Severne near Avdiivka, a Ukrainian town it captured earlier this month.

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In a statement, the ministry said its forces captured Severne, “occupied more advantageous lines and positions” and struck concentrations of Ukrainian manpower and equipment near three other settlements.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield claims.

The capture of Avdiivka after months of fighting was Russia’s most significant gain since it seized the ruined city of Bakhmut last May.

The defense ministry said Russian forces had also destroyed a US-supplied Abrams tank. Russian-installed officials in Ukraine had reported that incident a day earlier, saying it was the first hit of its kind since Washington started delivering the Abrams to Ukraine last September.

After major successes in 2022 in pushing back the Russian army, Ukraine has suffered recent setbacks on eastern battlefields, with its generals complaining of shortages of arms and ammunition. Russia controls just under a fifth of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

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On Monday, the Ukrainian military confirmed its withdrawal from the village of Lastochkyne near Avdiivka, saying the move would help it halt the westward advance of Russian forces.

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