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Russian troops launch ‘local offensive’ in southern Ukraine

The Russian army has launched a "local offensive" near the town of Orikhiv in southern Ukraine, where the front has been largely stagnant for months, a Russian-installed official said Thursday. "Our troops have gone into a local offensive around Orikhiv," the head of Moscow's installed authorities in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, Vladimir Rogov said, according to…

Medics of Ukrainian Army evacuate a wounded soldier on a road not far of Soledar, Donetsk region on January 14, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. – Ukraine reported a fresh wave of attacks and hits on key infrastructure facilities on January 14, 2023, a day after Russia claimed to have captured the ravaged eastern town of Soledar following a long battle. (Photo by Anatolii Stepanov / AFP)

The Russian army has launched a “local offensive” near the town of Orikhiv in southern Ukraine, where the front has been largely stagnant for months, a Russian-installed official said Thursday.

“Our troops have gone into a local offensive around Orikhiv,” the head of Moscow’s installed authorities in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, Vladimir Rogov said, according to Russian state media.

Rogov alleged the front had slightly shifted and that some Ukrainian troops had retreated.

“Our troops are holding their positions,” he said.

“The territory of the Zaporizhzhia region liberated from Ukrainian fighters is gradually increasing.”

The Kremlin has claimed it annexed the Zaporizhzhia region — and three other Ukrainian regions — despite not controlling them entirely.

While Moscow occupies large swathes of the south of the Zaporizhzhia region, its main city, also called Zaporizhzhia, has not fallen to Russian forces.

Russia has vowed to take control of the rest of southern and eastern Ukraine that it has claimed as its own.

The front in southern Ukraine has been largely frozen since Moscow withdrew from the major city of Kherson in November.

The Ukrainian army did not mention Orikhiv in its daily report on Thursday.

The fiercest fighting in Ukraine in recent weeks has centred further north, in eastern Ukraine, with Moscow claiming to have captured the town of Soledar, outside Bakhmut.

Intense battles over Bakhmut, which Russia has been trying to seize for months, is continuing.