Russian Forces Push Deeper Into Northern Ukraine

Russian forces continued their advance across northeastern Ukraine on Sunday, seizing a number of small settlements along the border and forcing Ukrainian troops to retreat from some positions, aid workers and the Ukrainian military said.

Aid workers said that Russian troops had advanced deeper inside Ukrainian territory and were now threatening several small towns on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city.

According to a Ukrainian military unit, the Russian forces are pushing hard from the Russia-Ukraine border toward Kharkiv.

“Today, during heavy fighting, our defenders were forced to withdraw from a few more of their positions, and today, another settlement has come completely under Russian control,” said a video statement released on Saturday night by Hostri Kartuzy, a Ukrainian special forces unit. “The Russians are dying in droves. But they are pressing on regardless and succeeding in some areas.”

Russian forces launched a complex, surprise offensive on Friday, deploying fighter jets, artillery units, infantry and armor, surging across the northeastern frontier between Russia and Ukraine.

With fighting raging in the area, cross-border fire has intensified and Russia accused Ukraine on Sunday of hitting a multistory building in the Russian city of Belgorod, about 45 miles from Kharkiv. The Russian state-run news agency TASS said there had been at least 17 casualties, without specifying a death toll.

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