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KYIV: Ukrainian forces are still in control of the town of Chasiv Yar in eastern Ukraine despite attempts by Russian troops to break through their defences, Commander-in-chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Saturday.

Russia’s RIA news agency on Friday cited an official as saying Russian forces had entered the suburbs of the town, which Moscow sees as an important staging point for Kyiv’s troops. Ukrainian military said the report was untrue.

“Chasiv Yar remains under our control, and all enemy attempts to break through to the settlement have failed,” Syrskyi said on the Telegram messaging app on Saturday.

Six dead, 10 injured in Russian strike on Kharkiv, officials say

A rapid Russian advance on Chasiv Yar, a heavily fortified town with a pre-war population of 12,200 situated west of the ruined Russian-occupied city of Bakhmut, would be a grim setback for Kyiv.

Russian forces are inching forward in eastern Ukraine after capturing the bastion town of Avdiivka in February. Kyiv’s soldiers are trying to dig in, facing long-term shortages of artillery shells with U.S. aid stuck in Congress.

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