Firefighters work at the site of a Russian missile strike in Odesa - REUTERS

Firefighters work at the site of a Russian missile strike in Odesa - REUTERS

The Telegraph:  Russia has claimed victory over a village in eastern Ukraine after bitter fighting amid Moscow’s renewed offensive.

The village of Berdychi in the Donetsk region of Ukraine reported earlier that it had repelled 39 Russian attacks in one day.

But today Russia’s defence ministry said they had successfully broken through the Ukrainian defences.

Recently Russia has focused its bombardment in other eastern areas like Chasiv Yar and Bakhmut.

The victory in Berdychi is the latest in a series of Russian gains in Ukraine’s east in recent weeks.

It comes after The US State Department last night confirmed that Russia is using chloropicrin, a chemical deployed in the First World War.

Use of the agent on the battlefield is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Russia has signed and ratified.

The State Department said that the use of the gas was not an “isolated” incident.

The announcement followed a Telegraph investigation which revealed the use of chemical weapons earlier this year.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed he did not rule out sending troops to Ukraine, saying the issue would “legitimately” arise if Russia broke through Ukrainian front lines and Kyiv made such a request.

Mr Macron told the Economist that he is “not ruling anything out” because Europe is “facing someone who is not ruling anything out” when asked if he stood by comments earlier this year not excluding the sending of Western troops.

Some analysts believe that Russia could be on the verge of launching a major new offensive in Ukraine.

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