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Russia Claims Capture of Village in Eastern Ukraine

Sergei Bobok / AFP

The Russian army said Sunday it had captured a small village in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine.

"The village of Krakhmalnoye in the Kharkiv region was liberated," the Russian defence ministry said in its daily bulletin on operations in Ukraine, citing "successful active operations."

Some 45 people lived in the village before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

It is some 30 (nearly 20 miles) kilometres southeast of the regional hub of Kupiansk -- an important railway junction that had a pre-war population of around 30,000 people -- which Russian forces have been pushing to take over.

A spokesperson for Ukrainian land forces, Volodymyr Fitio, interviewed Sunday on Ukrainian television, said the capture of the village had "no strategic importance".

"These are five houses", he said, adding that Ukrainian forces were still holding the frontline.

In recent days, authorities in the northeast Kharkiv region  had urged residents to evacuate, citing worsening Russian attacks in the area.

Some 3,000 people were evacuated.

Russian forces captured swathes of the Kharkiv region shortly after invading Ukraine in February 2022, and have continued to fight there despite losing ground.

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