Russia Claims More Progress in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Region

A general view of people said to be Russian soldiers seeking shelter in Kurdyumivka, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Sunday. (National Guard of Ukraine Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

(Reuters) – Russia’s Defense Ministry said for the second straight day on Sunday that its forces were improving their positions in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region.

“During offensive operations in the direction of Zaporizhzhia, units of the Eastern Military District took up more advantageous ground and positions,” the Defense Ministry said.

It claimed to have inflicted casualties and destroyed equipment including Ukrainian fighting vehicles, howitzers and two U.S.-made HIMARS rockets.

Ukraine on Saturday said Russia’s claims of progress in Zaporizhzhia were exaggerated.

Fighting in recent weeks has centered around the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, where Russia’s Wagner mercenaries and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a battle of attrition.

Neither side has claimed major movements on the southern front since November, when Russia pulled out of the city of Kherson.

With the war now 11 months old, Ukraine has said it believes Moscow is likely to attempt a new offensive in the coming months.

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