Russia takes control of Staromaiorske in eastern Ukraine, defence ministry says

Soldiers carry out stabilization operations in the village of Staromayorske

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian military has taken control of the village of Staromaiorske in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, the Russian defence ministry said on Monday.

Ukraine's military made no such acknowledgment in a report issued late on Monday. It said Russian forces had tried to move forward near Staromaiorske and a nearby village, Vodiane, "but were unsuccessful. The defence forces control the situation."

Both villages lie southwest of the Russian-held main town in the region, also called Donetsk.

A popular Ukrainian war blog, DeepState, said Russian troops had made advances around Staromaiorske.

Reuters could not independently verify battlefield reports from either side.

Russia has made incremental gains in Donetsk region, a focal point along the 1,000-km (600-mile) long front line, since capturing the key town of Avdiivka in February after many months of heavy fighting.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Josie Kao)