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Russia says repelled Ukrainian attacks on three sections of front line

File photo of Ukrainian troops in the flashpoint city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine

Russia says it has repelled a series of attacks by Ukrainian forces across three sections of the frontline, as fighting has intensified between the two warring sides in the key southern Zaporizhzhia region.

The Russian Defense Ministry made the remarks in a statement on Sunday, saying Ukraine is pressing most actively in Zaporizhzhia.

However, it did not mention the village of Piatykhatky in the region which was reportedly captured by Ukrainian forces earlier in the day.

The latest development comes a week after Kiev claimed it has retaken "seven villages" in the southeastern regions of the country.

Moscow has rejected the claims, saying its forces have successfully fought off Ukrainian assaults in the southeast.

Meanwhile, Ukraine said it has carried out 14 airstrikes on areas where Russian forces are stationed.

Ukraine’s General Staff made the claim in a statement on Facebook, adding that Kiev forces have also destroyed two anti-aircraft missile systems.

The statement further noted that Ukrainian missiles and artillery have struck three control points, five ammunition depots and three artillery units in the past day.

It added that Russia is concentrating its war effort in the directions of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka.

Separately, British officials said Russia and Ukraine are suffering high numbers of military casualties as Kyiv fights to dislodge the Kremlin’s forces from occupied areas in the early stages of its counteroffensive.

UK military officials said in their regular assessment that Russian losses are probably at their highest level since the peak of the battle for the flashpoint city of  Bakhmut in March.

According to British intelligence, the most intense fighting has centered on the southeastern Zaporizhzhia province, around Bakhmut and further west in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk province.

While the update reported that Ukraine was on the offensive in these areas and had “made small advances,” it said that Russian forces were conducting “relatively effective defensive operations” in Ukraine’s south.

Russia began what it calls a special military operation against its neighbor last February, saying the offensive was aimed at defending Ukraine's pro-Russian population in Donetsk and Luhansk, another eastern Ukrainian region, against persecution by the Kiev regime.

Several Ukrainian regions have ever since voted in separate referendums in favor of joining the Russian Federation.

Kiev and its Western allies, however, accuse Moscow of seizing those territories by force.

The West has also been pumping Ukraine full of state-of-the-art weaponry and other military equipment despite Russia's repeated warnings that such a measure would only prolong the war and torpedo prospects of peace between the two countries.

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