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Ukraine says withdrew troops in parts of Kharkiv region

Moscow launched a surprise major ground assault on the Kharkiv region last week as it seeks to advance across the battlefield with Kyiv struggling for arms and manpower.

UkraineKYIV: Ukraine has pulled back troops near several villages in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where Russian forces have been advancing and pounding settlements in a new offensive along the border, Kyiv said.

The military gave details of the pullback as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was on an unannounced visit to Kyiv where President Volodymyr Zelensky urged him to speed up US supplies of weapons.

Moscow launched a surprise major ground assault on the Kharkiv region last week as it seeks to advance across the battlefield with Kyiv struggling for arms and manpower.

“In some areas, around Lukyantsi and Vovchansk, in response to enemy fire and assaults from ground troops, and to save the lives of our servicemen and avoid losses, our units manoeuvered and moved to more advantageous positions,” the Ukrainian military said late Tuesday.

Throughout the two-year war, both sides have typically used the language of moving to more “advantageous positions” to signify retreats.

The two villages — around 30 kilometres (18 miles) apart — are close to the border with Russia and have been targeted in the fresh offensive.

Ukraine’s General Staff said the situation “remains difficult” but insisted that its forces were “not allowing the Russian occupiers to gain a foothold”.

Kyiv has rushed reinforcements to the area to prevent Russia from punching through.

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