Mine blast kills five in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region

Five people, including two children, were killed when their vehicle hit a Russian mine in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region, the governor said on Monday.

“A car hit an enemy mine, killing a 53-year-old man, a 64-year-old woman, a 25-year-old woman, a five-year-old boy, and a three-month-old baby,” Governor Oleg Synyegubov wrote on social media.

The city of Kharkiv has been regularly targeted by Russian troops, who launched a major ground offensive in the region on May 10.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the offensive in Ukraine’s northeast was intended to create a “buffer zone” to protect Russia’s border Belgorod region from shelling.

Russian forces made their most significant territorial gains in 18 months during the first days of the major ground assault in the area, capturing several Ukrainian border villages and forcing thousands from their homes.

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However, officials have said the thrust has since stalled in recent weeks, after Washington partially lifted restrictions on using US-donated weapons to strike inside Russia.

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