Russian troops seize two villages in Ukraine

Russian troops have advanced near the Ukrainian city of Avdiivka and seized two villages, but Ukrainian security officials said although the situation in the east of the country was “very difficult” it was “not critical or catastrophic”.

Russian units have expanded a narrow corridor around the rural settlement of Ocheretyne, captured a week ago. They overran neighbouring hamlets – Solovyove and Novokalynove – and pushed forward to the west.

Ukraine’s eastern command said its forces controlled two-thirds of Ocheretyne, where there was fierce fighting.

Russia seized Avdiivka in February after Ukrainian troops withdrew. Moscow’s forces have been moving forward ever since. North-west of Avdiivka, Russian combat units have come within about 18 miles (30km) of the city of Pokrovsk, a Ukrainian military hub. Farther north, they are assaulting the town of Chasiv Yar, near Bakhmut, using airdropped glide bombs to pound Ukrainian positions.



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