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Moscow Claims Forces Took Control of Village in Eastern Ukraine

Donetsk region. Dmitry Yagodkin/TASS

Russia's Defense Ministry on Sunday claimed its forces had taken control of another village in eastern Ukraine, as Moscow's troops press their advantage in manpower and ammunition on the battlefield.

Russia's forces have made notable gains in the eastern Donetsk region over the last week, prompting rare criticism by Ukrainian military bloggers of the country's armed forces.

"As the result of active operations, the 'Centrer' troop unit liberated the village of Novobakhmutivka in the Donetsk People's Republic," Russia's defense ministry said in its daily battlefield briefing.

The village is around 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Avdiivka, which Russia's forces captured in February after one of the bloodiest battles of the two-year conflict.

The Deep State Telegram channel, close to Ukraine's armed forces, earlier this week blamed the leaders of Ukrainian units in the area for the "collapse of defenses throughout the region, causing considerable losses."

Moscow said on Saturday its troops around Donetsk had managed to drive "deep" into Ukrainian defensive lines.

Ukraine's army leaders have conceded Russia has had some "tactical successes" in the area and that its own positions had deteriorated.

Ukraine's head of intelligence at the ministry of defense Kyrylo Budanov said this month that the battlefield situation is likely to worsen for Ukraine around mid-May to early June.

Kyiv is awaiting the arrival of billions of dollars in US weapons, which it hopes will stabilize the situation on the sprawling front lines.

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