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Ukraine has pulled back its troops from several villages in the border region of Kharkiv following continued pressure from Russian forces.

Soldiers had come under heavy fire and moved to “more advantageous positions” in two areas of the north-eastern region, a military spokesman said.

Throughout the course of the two-year war, Ukraine has typically used this type of language to signify a retreat.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has cancelled all upcoming foreign trips as troops struggle to contain the new cross-border incursion, with several towns and villages coming under heavy fire.

His press secretary, Sergiy Nykyforov, said the president had “instructed that all international events scheduled for the coming days be postponed and new dates coordinated”.

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