Ukraine troops advance on southern front - general

(Reuters) - One of Ukraine's top generals said on Tuesday that his forces were advancing in the south, one of two theatres of their counteroffensive to evict Russian occupation forces, but offered few details of their gains.

"In the Tavria sector, there has been an advance by the defence forces," General Oleksander Tarnavskyi said in a post on Telegram, using the military's name for the southern front.

Tarnavskyi, head of the southern group of forces, said troops had conducted 1,198 assignments in the past 24 hours, with Russian forces sustaining losses of 261 men and a further 10 being taken prisoner.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces, in its evening report, said offensive operations were proceeding in the east and south, with little elaboration.

It reported Russian air strikes in southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, the focus of the drive south to the Sea of Azov. The report also said Ukrainian forces had repelled Russian attacks in areas of Donetsk region already recaptured by Kyiv and around the long-contested town of Maryinka further west.

Military analysts have spoken in the past week of Ukrainian forces consolidating positions around the village of Verbove on their southward drive.

The drive in the east has focused on recovering land around the devastated town of Bakhmut, seized by Russian forces in May after months of heavy fighting.

The Institute for the Study of War, in an assessment issued on Monday, said Ukrainian forces had made marginal gains in the area straddling Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski; Editing by Gareth Jones)