Troops defending Kharkiv reached Russian border, Ukraine says

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KYIV (REUTERS) - Ukraine said on Monday (May 16) troops defending the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv, had repelled Russian forces and advanced as far as the border with Russia.

Reuters could not immediately verify Ukraine's battlefield account and it was not clear how many troops had reached the Russian border and where.

If confirmed, it would suggest a Ukrainian counter-offensive is having increasing success in pushing back Russian forces in the north-east after Western military agencies said Moscow's offensive in the Donbas region had stalled.

Ukraine's defence ministry said in a Facebook post that the 227th Battalion of the 127th Brigade of Ukraine's Territorial Defence Forces had reached the border with Russia, adding: "Together to victory!"

The ministry published a video on Facebook purportedly showing about 12 Ukrainian troops by a border post in the colours of the Ukrainian flag on Sunday.

Kharkiv region governor Oleh Sinegubov wrote on the Telegram messaging app that the troops had restored the post on the border.

"We thank everyone who, risking their lives, liberates Ukraine from Russian invaders," Mr Sinegubov said.

Ukraine has scored a series of successes since Russia invaded on Feb 24, forcing Russia's commanders to abandon an advance on the capital Kyiv before making rapid gains around Kharkiv.

Moscow calls its invasion of Ukraine a "special military operation" to rid the country of fascists, an assertion Kyiv and its Western allies say is a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war.

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