Ukrainian officials said Wednesday said they had evacuated all children from several towns and villages near the front line in the southern Zaporizhzhia Region, a focal point of Kyiv's counteroffensive.

Kyiv launched its push to recapture territory in June but Russian forces have put up fierce resistance and Ukraine has ordered evacuations from several regions as their forces wrest back land.

“We have fulfilled the task set by the Ukrainian government... and evacuated all children and their families” from five settlements in Zaporizhzhia, the deputy head of the region Yevgen Myronenko said.

Local media cited regional officials as saying 59 children had been removed from the towns.

The evacuations from the five settlements – Gulyaipole, Stepnogirsk, Preobrazhenka, Yegorivka, and Novopavlivka – were announced in August due to what officials described as a “difficult” security situation.

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Ukrainian forces over recent weeks have reported limited gains in the Zaporizhzhia Region where they are coming up against entrenched Russian positions.

General Oleksandr Tarnavskiy, who is leading the counteroffensive in the south, said last weekend that Ukraine's army had broken through Russian lines in Zaporizhzhia.

Kyiv last month declared a strategic victory when it recaptured the southern village of Robotyne.

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