Russia sets its sights on capturing border village of Lyptsi

Russia sets its sights on capturing border village of Lyptsi

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Russian forces have launched a bid to capture the village of Lyptsi as they continue a new offensive on Ukraine’s north-eastern region of Kharkiv.

“Next is the settlement of Lyptsi – our guys are already on the outskirts. Work is beginning to liberate it, aviation and artillery are working constantly, they do not stop,” said Vitaly Ganchev, a pro-Russian official installed in occupied eastern Ukraine.

It came as Ukraine repelled a separate assault on the northern town of Vovchansk, a highly sought-after target by Moscow since it launched a wider incursion last week.

The Ukrainian army said it had managed to push back enemy troops from the outskirts of the town, adding that Russia had lost more than 100 soldiers in the latest attack.

The capture of Vovchansk, which is close to the Russian border, would mark the most significant territorial grab for Russia in its latest offensive, though Ukraine says it is of little strategic value.

“The enemy’s plans to penetrate deeper into the town of Vovchansk and gain a foothold there were thwarted,” the Ukrainian General Staff said in a statement.

Another spokesman for the Ukrainian military said its efforts were focused on stopping Russia from gaining any footholds in the region, which could be used as staging areas for setting up troop deployments and equipment.

“Our units… detect separate enemy units, the location of artillery deployments and inflict damage to prevent the enemy from accumulating forces and equipment in the northern part of the town of Vovchansk,” Nazar Voloshyn said.

In a Thursday morning update, the Institute for the Study of War reported some Russian advances in northern Kharkiv, near the town of Siversk and west of Donetsk city.

The city of Kharkiv came under renewed attack on Wednesday – Federico Quintana/SIPA/Shutterstock

It came as the Russian FSB spying service claimed to have arrested two Ukrainian “agents” in annexed Crimea, accusing them of passing on sensitive details about air defences in the area.

Russian state media also claimed the pair had attempted to blow up railway lines in Crimea, which is of major symbolic importance to Ukrainian forces as the territory was illegally annexed by Vladimir Putin in 2014.

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