Russia claims control of Blahodatne north of Ukraine's Bakhmut

(Reuters) - Russia said on Tuesday that its forces had taken control of Blahodatne, a village just north of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, where some of the heaviest fighting of the war has taken place in recent weeks.

Blahodatne, about 5 km (3 miles) north of Bakhmut, was captured with the help of aerial support, Moscow's defence ministry said.

Reuters was not able to independently verify Russia's battlefield account.

The Wagner Group, designated by the United States as a transnational criminal organisation, had already said on Saturday its units had taken control of Blahodatne, but Kyiv said that it had repelled an attack on the village.

Russia claims to have taken control of several locations around Bakhmut, where its troops and private Wagner mercenaries have been locked for months in a battle of attrition with Ukrainian forces.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)