Russia says its forces take control of Yasnobrodivka in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday that its forces took control of Yasnobrodivka settlement in Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, it said in a report on the Telegram messging app.

Ukraine acknowledged no such loss and identified the village as one of several where its forces were defending positions.

The Russian defence ministry, in its daily report on the front, said: "As a result of decisive actions, units of the 'centre' group of forces liberated the Yasnoborivka settlement...and improved their tactical positions."

Ukraine's General Staff said the village was one of nine in the Pokrovsk sector of Donetsk region, west of the Russian-held town of Donetsk, where its forces had withstood more than 20 Russian attempts to advance over the past 24 hours.

The report said the Pokrovsk sector had seen the highest number of clashes along the 1,000-km (600-mile) front line.

Reuters could not independently verify battlefield accounts from either side.

Russia's military says it has captured a string of villages in its slow drive through Ukraine's Donetsk region after it captured the key town of Avdiivka in February.

DeepState, a popular Ukrainian military blog, made no mention of Yasnoborivka in its frontline accounts, but reported heavy fighting in nearby areas. It said Russian forces were trying to secure control over two villages further north.

"Today is another difficult day in the area," it said.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Anastasia Teterevleva; Editing by Mark Trevelyan, Ron Popeski and David Gregorio)