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Russia says reclaimed Ukraine bridgehead on Dnipro bank

Russia has claimed a new military success in Ukraine ahead of the second anniversary of its offensive, while President Vladimir Putin mocked what he called Kyiv’s “flight” from the frontline town of Avdiivka.

The eastern Ukraine front has been frozen for months, but Moscow has been bolstered by its capture of Avdiivka last week, as well as a wrangled US Congress blocking military aid to Kyiv.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russian forces have reclaimed Krynky, a Ukrainian bridgehead on the Moscow-occupied side of the Dnipro river.

“I confirm that Krynky has been cleared,” Mr Shoigu told Mr Putin in a televised meeting.

Ukraine said last year that it had established positions around the tiny east bank village, crossing into the Russian-occupied side of the river.

Mr Shoigu told state media earlier that Russian forces were “on the banks of the river in Krynky.”

During the meeting, Mr Putin said the Ukrainian army had chaotically fled Avdiivka. Kyiv said it withdrew from the eastern stronghold to save soldiers’ lives.

“The Ukrainian armed forces issued an order to withdraw their armed forces when they were already on the move,” Mr Putin said, calling the retreat a “chaotic flight”.

Moscow has tried to capture Avdiivka, a symbol of Ukrainian resistance since 2014, for months.

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