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Few changes along southern frontline, Ukraine says amid counteroffensive

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Ukraine has reclaimed additional territory from Russian forces along the southern frontline but the situation on the battlefield there has changed little over the past week, Ukraine Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said on Monday.

Ukrainian forces have liberated about 130 square kilometres in the south since the start of Ukraine’s offensive actions, Maliar said. A week ago, Maliar said that 113 square kilometres had been reclaimed in the previous two weeks.

“The situation in the south has not undergone significant changes over the past week,” Maliar told the national broadcaster.

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She added that about 250 clashes had taken place in the past week along the eastern part of the front line, which includes the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions.

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“Heavy fighting is still going on there,” Maliar said.

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She said that Ukraine started counteroffensive actions in the east at the end of last week, reclaiming one to two kilometers each in the areas of Bakhmut, Yahidne, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Bohdanivka, Yahidne, Klishchiivka and Kurdiumivka.

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On Sunday, Ukraine’s eastern military command said Kyiv advanced 600 to 1,000 metres over the previous day near Bakhmut, a city taken by Russia’s Wagner mercenary forces in May after months of fighting.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

Russia’s RIA news agency reported on Monday, citing military from the Southern grouping of Russia’s armed forces, that Ukraine forces were not conducting offensive operations on Artyomovsk – the Soviet-era name for Bakhmut used by Russia.

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