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Russian Governor Says Region Attacked as Ukraine Troops Reach Border

The Russian border region of Belgorod reportedly came under three separate artillery attacks on Sunday, as Ukrainian troops defending the city of Kharkiv said they have reached the Russian border.

Belgorod regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov acknowledged one attack on the border village of Sereda early Sunday, announcing that one person had been injured in the shelling. 

Telegram channel Baza, which is believed to have links to Russia’s security services, said that shelling on Sereda was the first of three cross-border incidents on Sunday and the only one to result in injuries.

The news outlet said that Russian air defense systems shot down 10 shells targeting above the village at around 7:45 a.m. Moscow time. Shrapnel from one of the shells reportedly wounded 30-year-old resident Suleiman Isfandiyev. 

Another 10 shells fell in а field close to another village, Novostroyevka-Vtoraya, around an hour later without causing damage, Baza reported.

At around 11 a.m., another round of eight artillery shells reportedly damaged a power line and a number of farming structures in the village of Zhuravlevka.

Baza’s account could not be independently identified. But its report coincides with Ukraine’s announcement that its troops have regained control of territory on the Russian border near Kharkiv.

Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a social media statement late Sunday that the 127th brigade "drove out the Russians and claimed the state border” in the Kharkiv region.

In a video released with the statement, armed Ukrainian soldiers in camouflage gathered around a yellow-and-blue-painted border demarcation post to address President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military has "reached the border with the Russian Federation — with the occupying country — we've done it; we're here," one of the soldiers says.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has not acknowledged whether Ukrainian troops have taken control of the border. 

Ukraine presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich on Sunday told local television that Russian troops were being redeployed toward the Donbas region south of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, after withdrawing from the area following a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Since failing to take hold of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, early during their invasion in late February, control of Donbas has become one of Moscow's primary objectives in the Ukraine war.  But Western intelligence has predicted its campaign will stall as it faces heavy losses and fierce resistance.

"We thank everyone who, risking their lives, liberates Ukraine from Russian invaders," Kharkiv regional governor Oleg Synegubov said on Telegram.

"We still have a lot of work ahead of us," he added.

The Ukraine presidency said in a briefing Monday that Russia had continued strikes on the Luhansk region south of Kharkiv, killing two people and wounding nine.

AFP contributed reporting.

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