(Moscow) The head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov said on Sunday that Russian forces had seized the border village of Ryzhivka, in the Sumy region in northeastern Ukraine.

The fighters of the Akhmat battalion “carried out tactical operations together with servicemen of other Russian units and liberated another locality from the enemy” which “is the village of Ryzhivka,” Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on the Telegram messenger.

“As a result of large-scale planned offensive actions, the Ukrainian side suffered significant losses and was forced to retreat,” he added.

AFP was not immediately able to verify the Chechen leader’s claims.

Yuriy Zarko, head of the Bilopillia municipality to which Ryzhivka is attached, denied the capture of the village and told Ukrainian public television that no Russian contingent was stationed there.

Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russia was amassing troops along its border with Ukraine in preparation for a possible new offensive.

At the same time, Ukrainian authorities began evacuating residents from some border towns and villages in the Sumy region.

Russian forces made their biggest territorial gains in 18 months with a major ground assault on the Kharkiv region that began on May 10, seizing several border villages and forcing thousands to flee .

The Ukrainian army, short of ammunition and men, is struggling, particularly because of the delay in the delivery of Western military aid.