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Russia Says Village in Ukraine's Kharkiv 'Liberated'

Diego Herrera / General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Russia on Saturday claimed to have taken control of a small village near the key city of Kupiansk in the northeastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv.

"The settlement of Gryanikovka... was completely liberated," the defense ministry said in a statement, referring to the Ukrainian village of Hryanykivka by its Russian name.

Hryanykivka was home to around 600 people before the start of Russia's offensive in Ukraine last February.

In September, Russian troops retreated from key cities in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, including the key rail hub of Kupiansk.

Kupiansk is near the frontline in eastern Ukraine and locals fear it can be taken over again.

The Ukrainian army said earlier Saturday that Russian troops were "conducting offensive actions" in several cities including Kupiansk and Bakhmut, the eastern city that is the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle of the war so far.

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