A spokesperson for the Ukrainian land forces, Volodymyr Fitio, has denied Russian claims that the village of Tabaivka in the Kharkiv region had been captured.

Earlier, on social networks and propaganda channels, the Russian armed forces circulated information about the claimed capture of the village, located three kilometers from the border with the Luhansk region and 40 kilometers (65 miles) from the Ukrainian-Russian border.

Before the war, 34 people lived there.

“The enemy claims that they have already captured Tabaivka; this is not true,” Fitio said.

“The Russians did not capture Tabaivka; hostilities continue there, and their statements cannot be trusted. They fabricate more than they provide factual information,” he added.

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Fitio explained that Tabaivka is located in a rather unfavorable place — in the lowlands.

“Anyone that comes into range descending into this swampy area becomes an immediate target. That's why fierce battles persist there, and Ukrainian defenders are working to dislodge the enemy from their current positions,” he said.

In a separate incident, the Russian army claimed to have captured the small village of Krokhmalnoye in the Kharkiv region on January 20.

“The village of Krokhmalnoye in the Kharkiv region was liberated,” the Russian defense ministry said in its daily bulletin on operations in Ukraine, citing “successful active operations.”

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Before Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the village was home to approximately 45 people. Situated approximately 30 kilometers (nearly 20 miles) southeast of Kupiansk, a crucial railway junction with a pre-war population of around 30,000 people. The village has been a focal point for Russian forces seeking to gain control for some time.

Fitio, in an interview on Ukrainian television, downplayed the capture of the village, stating it had “no strategic importance.”

“Let's say, these are five houses... And these five houses were destroyed by the Russian aggressor. Accordingly, our main goal is to protect the lives of Ukrainian defenders,” he said.

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According to him, Ukrainian Armed Forces’ positions were moved to prepared reserve positions, where they are currently holding the defense, preventing the Russians from advancing further.

In recent days, authorities in the northeast Kharkiv region have urged residents to evacuate, citing worsening Russian attacks in the area.

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