Ukraine military confirms retreat from eastern village

KYIV (Reuters) - The Ukrainian military confirmed on Monday its retreat from the village of Lastochkyne in eastern Ukraine, saying the move would help it halt the westward advance of Russian forces.

Lastochkyne is around two kilometres west of the town of Avdiivka, which Ukraine abandoned earlier this month.

"Ukrainian Armed Forces units withdrew from the village of Lastochkyne in order to organise defences... and prevent the enemy from advancing further in a western direction," military spokesman Dmytro Lykhoviy said on television.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday it was vital for Kyiv and its Western allies to remain united and reiterated that Ukraine's victory depends on continued Western support as the war enters its third year.

After initial successes in pushing back the Russian army, Ukraine has suffered setbacks on eastern battlefields, with its generals complaining of shortages of arms and ammunition.

Lykhoviy said a new defensive line would be established a few kilometres west of Lastochkyne.

Russia said on Sunday its forces had taken up more advantageous positions near Avdiivka and Donetsk.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Gareth Jones and Nick Macfie)