A Russian serviceman fires a Kornet anti-tank guided missile.
© Sputnik / Stanislav KrasilnikovA Russian serviceman fires a Kornet anti-tank guided missile.
Ukrainian troops have been driven out of four villages over the past 24 hours, the Defense Ministry has said.

Moscow's forces have moved deeper across the Ukrainian defense lines in Kharkov Region and have made new territorial gains in the area, the Russian Defense Ministry has said.

The villages of Gatische, Krasnoe, Morokhovets and Oleynikovo have been liberated from Kiev's forces, the ministry said on Sunday, in its daily bulletin.

Over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military has lost around 1,500 troops along the front line, the ministry also said.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that Russia had launched a large-scale offensive in the region, claiming that his country's forces had "calculated everything" in advance and were prepared to repel the attack. Zelensky's statement followed the announcement by Moscow of the capture of several villages in Kharkov.

The fighting continued near the settlements of Degtyarnoye, Volchansk and Kazachya Lopan, with the Ukrainian military losing up to 100 troops, two tanks and two Kozak armored vehicles in this area, the statement read.

It also reported that a French-supplied Caesar and two Czech-made Vampire multiple rocket launchers were among items of Ukrainian equipment destroyed by Russian counter-battery fire in this instance.

It said that Ukrainian forces had suffered the most casualties in clashes with Russian forces over the strategic town of Chasov Yar and nearby villages in Russia's Donetsk People's Republic.

Its losses in this area amounted to up to 620 servicemen, two tanks, a UK-made AS-90 Braveheart self-propelled gun, an American M777 howitzer and other hardware, Moscow said.

The Russian military also hit other Ukrainian forces, in the settlements of Mayorsk, Evgenovka, Vodyanoye and Semenovka, located west of the city of Donetsk. Here, Ukraine lost 415 servicemen, two tanks, including a US-made Abrams M1, an American Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, a Kozak armored fighting vehicle and a US-supplied Paladin self-propelled howitzer, the statement notes.

In early May, Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu confirmed that the country's military had switched to an offensive posture, stressing that a steady supply of weapons and ammunition was needed to maintain the pace of the advance.

In a separate comment a few days later, Shoigu revealed that the Ukrainian military's losses since the beginning of the year have surpassed 111,000 troops, while Russia's territorial gains during the period have amounted to 547 square kilometers, about 211 square miles.