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Ukraine Says Repelled Attack Near Blahodatne, Russia's Wagner Claims Control

Nikolai Trishin/TASS

Ukraine's military said Sunday its forces repelled an attack near Blahodatne in the eastern Donetsk region after Russia's Wagner mercenary group claimed it took control of the village. 

Kyiv's forces "repelled attacks near...Blahodatne" and 13 other settlements in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian General Staff said in its daily report.

Earlier, Russia's private military group Wagner said its units had taken control of the village.

"Units of Wagner PMC have taken Blahodatne. Blahodatne is under our control," Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said as quoted by his press service.

There was no immediate confirmation from Russia's Defense Ministry.

Moscow has made capturing the eastern Donetsk region, which it has already declared a part of Russia, its primary goal in Ukraine.

Kyiv recently said that Russian troops had stepped up their attacks in the east, particularly on the towns of Vugledar and Bakhmut.

Earlier this month, Russia said it wrested control of Soledar, a salt-mining town near Bakhmut, Moscow's first claim of victory after months of battlefield setbacks.

Blahodatne is located to the north of Bakhmut.

Russian forces have been seeking to seize Bakhmut for months in some of the heaviest fighting since Russia invaded in February last year.

Separately, five civilians were killed in attacks on the Donetsk region over the past day, local governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said Sunday, including one person in Bakhmut.

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