Russia reports battlefield gains in Donetsk region ahead of Ukraine summit

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 6/11/2024 4:56:47 AM

Russia on Monday claimed the capture of another village in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region, the latest in a string of gains ahead of a major Ukraine summit in Switzerland.

Dozens of world leaders and top diplomats are to convene for a meeting at the weekend that President Volodymyr Zelensky hopes will rally global support behind Kyiv as it struggles more than two years into Russia's invasion.

Zelensky has ruled out direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and is keen to win over more non-Western countries, including those who maintain close ties with Moscow.

After almost a year of stalemate, Ukraine has been forced to abandon dozens of front-line settlements this spring, with Russian troops holding a significant advantage in manpower and resources.

Russia's defence ministry said Monday that its forces "continued to advance into the depths of the enemy's defence and liberated the settlement of Staromaiorske", located southwest of the Russian-held city of Donetsk.

The loss of the village is a symbolic blow to Kyiv, as it is one of the few Ukraine managed to recapture last year in a largely lacklustre counter-offensive.

Staromaiorske is on the southern front of the Donetsk region, one of the four regions Moscow claimed to have annexed in 2022 and where some of the fiercest fighting is now taking place.

Putin told an economic forum last week that Russia had seized 47 Ukrainian towns and villages so far this year.

In a diplomatic setback for Kyiv, Biden confirmed last week that he would not be attending the June 15-16 summit at the Burgenstock Resort, which overlooks Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland.

Shining BD