Ukraine news – live: Russia claims breakthrough in Luhansk as Putin ‘plans to seize Kharkiv’
Russia has claimed they made a breakthrough in the eastern front of Luhansk as intense fighting continued overnight.
The Russian defence ministry said the Ukrainians had retreated in the face of Russian attacks, allowing its own troops to break through two fortified lines of defence.
“During the offensive … the Ukrainian troops randomly retreated to a distance of up to 3 km (1.9 miles) from the previously occupied lines,” the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.
“Even the more fortified second line of defence of the enemy could not hold the breakthrough of the Russian military.”
However, no further details were provided and Reuters was not able to independently verify the battlefield report.
It comes as the Kremlin has intensified attacks across a swathe of southern and eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, and a major new offensive has been widely anticipated.
Elsewhere, head of the Russian-installed administration in Kharviv said that Vladimir Putin plans to seize back all the settlements in Ukraine‘s northeastern Kharkiv region that it surrendered to Kyiv last year.