Ukraine Retakes Villages Near Kharkiv, Easing Pressure on Battered City

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KHARKIV, Ukraine—Ukrainian forces are ousting Russian troops from a string of villages that were used to strike the country’s second most-populous city, Kharkiv, regaining strategic terrain that could blunt Russia’s attempt to conquer the eastern Donbas region.

The recent Ukrainian gains, to the north and northeast of Kharkiv, build on previous successes in forcing Russia’s military from the immediate outskirts of the city, a major industrial and transportation hub with a prewar population of 1.4 million.

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