As a Russian retreat in the Kharkiv region continues, a senior Ukrainian official has said that more than 40 settlements have now been liberated.
Roman Semenukha, Deputy Head of the Kharkiv region military administration, told Ukrainian television: "We can officially announce the liberation of more than 40 settlements. The situation is changing incredibly quickly and there are many, many more such [de-occupied] settlements."
Semenukha said the 40 referred only to those places where the situation was completely under control, and there were more where the Ukrainian flag had been raised.
"The situation is dynamically positive. And indeed the situation is changing," he said.
Semenukha said it was wrong to suggest the Russians were simply leaving. "There are fierce, fierce battles in many areas of the front and everything is very, very difficult. If we are talking about the military component, then you just have to be patient," he said.