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The Russian Defense Ministry has acknowledged its forces retreated from positions north of the city of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region that for months has been the scene of heavy fighting.

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Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a news briefing on May 12 that Russian forces had “occupied a new frontier” at the Berkhivske reservoir.

Konashenkov said Ukraine had launched an assault with more than 1,000 troops and up to 40 tanks after advancing the day before in the Soledar direction “along the entire line of contact” with a length of more than 95 kilometers.

The retreat allows Ukrainian troops to control the road to the town of Chasiv Yar, the only highway currently supplying Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut.

The gains, if confirmed, would be the biggest…

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