Russian military says it captures eastern Ukraine village, Kyiv says fighting continues

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia's Defence Ministry said on Friday that its forces had taken control of the settlement of Rozdolivka in eastern Ukraine, but Ukraine's military said heavy fighting was raging in areas around the settlement.

The Russian ministry said in a statement that Russia's "Southern" military grouping had taken up what it called more favourable positions after pushing Ukrainian forces out of the settlement.

Rozdolivka is located in Donetsk region, the focal point of Russia's slow advance across eastern Ukraine. It lies north of Bakhmut and Soledar, two localities brought under Russian control last year after being flattened in months of battles.

The Ukrainian military's General Staff, in an evening report on Friday, said Russian forces had launched 19 attacks in a broad sector that included Rozdolivka.

"Our soldiers resolutely held their defences and repelled 15 of the assaults," the report said. "Four armed confrontations are continuing."

Reuters could not verify battlefield accounts from either s

Russian forces pressing forward along the 1,000-km (600-mile) front line have captured several villages in eastern regions since they captured the strategic town of Avdiivka in February.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Sandra MalerEditing by Andrew Osborn and Ron Popeski)