Russia claims full control of Bilohorivka, Ukraine reports fighting around settlement

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian military said on Monday it had taken full control of the settlement of Bilohorivka in Ukraine's Luhansk region while the Kyiv military said fighting was going on in the area.

The Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement its forces had taken up better positions in the area.

Ukraine's General Staff, in its late evening report on Facebook, said fighting was going on around Bilohorivka and added that Ukrainian forces had repelled three attacks in the nearby Siversk sector.

Earlier, the General Staff said Kyiv's troops "have been holding back" Russian attacks near the village.

The Russian Defence Ministry added it had also been involved in fierce clashes in Ukraine's Kharkiv region near Vovchansk, Starytsia and Hlyboke where it said troops had repelled two counter-attacks.

Russian forces earlier this month thrust into the Kharkiv region in what President Vladimir Putin said was an operation to create a buffer zone to protect Russian border regions.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told Reuters in an interview on Monday that the situation north of Kharkiv was now "under control".

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; editing by Andrew Osborn, Christina Fincher, Ron Popeski and Cynthia Osterman)