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MOSCOW: Russia said Monday it had advanced further in eastern Ukraine, capturing another village – Semenivka – near the Moscow-held town of Avdiivka after a series of recent territorial gains.

The announcement came a day after Moscow claimed another nearby village with Kyiv saying the situation for its forces was worsening.

Russia’s defence ministry said it had “liberated” Semenivka, as its forces press their advantage in manpower and ammunition on the battlefield.

The tiny villages lies south of Novobakhmutivka, which fell to Russian troops over the weekend.

Ukraine says downed nine of 14 Russian drones overnight

Russia has been pushing westwards in the Donetsk region since its symbolic capture in February of Avdiivka, an eastern hub that witnessed some of the worst battles of Moscow’s two-year offensive.

Semenivka is close to Ocheretyne, where fighting has intensified and part of which is reportedly under Russian control.

Moscow has for weeks pressed its advantage at the front, an effort it has accelerated in recent days ahead of the arrival of US weapons that Kyiv desperately needs.

Moscow’s capture of the villages near Avdiivka has come as Ukraine’s commander-in-chief reported Sunday that the situation on the front was “worsening.”

Kyiv has for days warned of deteriorating conditions on the front, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying Moscow will try to bring home victories ahead of the May 9 patriotic holiday.

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