Russia’s defense ministry on Thursday claimed to have captured a village in the Donestsk region.

“In the Donetsk direction, as a result of successful actions of Southern Group troop units, the settlement of Vesele in the Donetsk People’s Republic was liberated,” Russia’s defense ministry said in its press release.

It is not possible to verify the ministry’s claims at the time of writing.

Vesele, with a pre-war population of 100, lies 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Bakhmut, an industrial city that saw one of the bloodiest battles in Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and was subsequently captured by Russian forces in May 2023, AFP reports.

Today, little remains of the industrial city.

Near Avdiivka, another industrial town in the Donetsk region that tallied the highest number of Russian casualties over the war to date, Russian milbloggers reported minuscule gains of 100 to 200 meters per day by Moscow’s troops.

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In the Kharkiv region, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov reported one death and two injured in a Russian attack on Kuyansk, a city 60km from the Russian border.

On Tuesday, Ukraine ordered the mandatory evacuation of a dozen settlements near Kupyansk as fear of a renewed Russian offensive loomed.

There have been no significant developments as the frontline became stagnant, with neither side able to achieve a significant breakthrough.

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 18, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 18, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

Elsewhere, Ukraine's defence minister warned Thursday that the country faced a "very real and pressing" ammunition shortage in its grinding near-two-year battle against Russia, as Western allies met in Paris to agree new artillery supplies.

"A shortage of ammunition is a very real and pressing problem that our armed forces are facing," Rustem Umerov posted on X after speaking by video link to the gathering led by France and the United States.

"The artillery coalition is aimed at solving this issue," he said.

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