Russia deals symbolic blow to Ukraine with village capture

Russia said Wednesday that its forces had retaken Klishchiivka, one of a handful of villages on the eastern front that Ukraine claimed back in a 2023 counteroffensive.

Russia's forces have in recent weeks made their biggest territorial gains in the war-battered east in the last 18 months as Ukraine waits for desperately-needed U.S. and European weapon supplies.

Klishchiivka lies in the industrial Donetsk territory that the Kremlin claimed to have annexed in late 2022 even as its forces were struggling to gain ground there and at a great cost.

The Ukrainian army has come under intense pressure in the past two weeks, fighting off a fresh ground offensive in the Kharkiv region and further stretching critically short supplies of soldiers and ammunition.

"Units of the Southern grouping of troops liberated the village of Klishchiivka" in the eastern Donetsk region, the Russian defence ministry said.

Russian troops originally captured Klishchiivka in January 2023, but Ukraine clawed it back in September at the end of its mostly unsuccessful counteroffensive.

Klishchiivka is just south of the destroyed frontline city of Bakhmut — now held by Russia — and had a population of about 500 people before the conflict.

Ukraine did not immediately comment but President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in an evening address Tuesday that the frontline was "extremely difficult."

  Fatal attacks 

Russia's gains since launching its ground assault in Ukraine's northeast has forced Kiev's already stretched army to rush in resources and troops from elsewhere.

A Russian drone attack killed a Ukrainian police officer who was evacuating civilians from the frontline village of Vovchansk, Ukraine's Interior...

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