“The fire of the artillery of the Western Group of Forces inflicted a defeat on the manpower and equipment of the units of the 103rd Territorial Defense Brigade and the 14th Mechanized Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the message says.

It is specified that the strikes were inflicted on the outskirts of the settlements of Gryanikovka, Sinkovka, Timkovka, Starch of the Kharkov region and Novoselovskoye LPR.

“Up to 40 Ukrainian servicemen and two vehicles were destroyed,” the department added.

The Russian Defense Ministry also announced the release of Nikolaevka in the DPR.

Earlier, volunteer detachments, with the support of the Russian Armed Forces, liberated the village of Blagodatnoye in the Donetsk People's Republic.