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Russia Says Captured 2 More Villages in Eastern Ukraine

The village of Kyslivka in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

Russia's Defense Ministry announced Wednesday that its forces had captured two more frontline villages in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow has made a string of territorial gains in recent months, taking advantage of its manpower and weapons advantage on the battlefield as Kyiv awaits critical military aid from the United States.

Russia said its troops had "liberated the village of Kyslivka in the Kharkiv region" and "Novokalynove in the Donetsk People's Republic," referring to the self-proclaimed breakaway territory in eastern Ukraine.

Kyslivka lies around 20 kilometers from the embattled Ukrainian stronghold of Kupiansk, while Novokalynove is about 10 kilometers north of Avdiivka, which Moscow captured in February.

Officials in Ukraine are worried Russia may be preparing a fresh offensive in the northeast as it awaits U.S. military supplies. 

Ukraine's commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrskyi acknowledged last month that Kyiv had pulled back from three villages and was building a new line of fortifications to defend the front.

Separately, Russia's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it had launched retaliatory strikes against Ukrainian energy and military facilities after Kyiv reported a wave of aerial attacks overnight.

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