Russia says it seized 880 square kilometers of Ukraine in 2024

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Russian forces are advancing on all fronts in Ukraine and have seized 880 square kilometers (340 square miles) of territory this year alone, Defense Minister Andrei Belousov said on Friday.

If confirmed, Russia would have made more gains in the past five months than in the whole of 2023, when the front line remained largely static despite a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the summer.

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“The advance is underway in all tactical directions. In general, 880 square kilometers of territory have come under the control of the Russian army this year,” Belousov said at a meeting of the Russian-led CSTO security alliance in Almaty, according to Russian news agencies.

Russia has also pushed Ukraine eight to nine kilometers (five to six miles) back in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where it stormed across the border on May 10 in a surprise land offensive, Belousov said.

“Thanks to the courageous and professional actions of our servicemen, 28 settlements have been liberated this month,” he added.

Ukraine has come under intense pressure since Russia launched the Kharkiv offensive, rushing reinforcements to the area while ceding ground on other areas of the front.

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Kyiv has also faced ammunition shortages, despite its biggest ally Washington approving $61 billion in new aid last month.

Ukraine’s top general said last week Moscow’s troops had become “bogged down” trying to capture the northeastern border town of Vovchansk, but that they were putting intense pressure on Ukraine’s army in the east.

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