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Russia says it captured Ukrainian frontline village west of Bakhmut

Russia on Saturday claimed a new territorial victory over Ukrainian forces struggling to find weapons and troops while the two sides staged deadly new aerial attacks on each other.

As a militant attack on a Moscow concert hall became a new flashpoint dispute between the arch-rivals, Russia's armed forces said they had seized the Ukrainian village of Ivanivske, just west of Bakhmut, the devastated city seized 10 months ago.

Russian forces have taken control of a string of frontline settlements in recent weeks, as Ukrainian forces suffer troop and ammunition shortages.

The capture last month of Adviivka, near the Russian-held stronghold of Donetsk, was the first major territorial gain made by Russia since Bakhmut and was hailed by President Vladimir Putin as a sign that Russian forces are back on the offensive.

Russia's defence ministry said in a statement that the army had "liberated" Ivanivske, which is also close to the town of Chasiv Yar that could become the next target.

If Russia took Chasiv Yar, it could step up attacks on the strategic city of Kramatorsk that is already facing growing bombardment.

The Russian claim came amid mounting tensions over an attack on a Moscow concert hall on Friday that authorities said left at least 133 dead.

The blackout meant there was no water nor heating for much of the city, residents said.

(AFP)


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