Ukrainian forces reached parts of the Russian border in their lightning offensive that has led to the firing of a top Russian general.

It came as the Kremlin on Monday insisted it would still win its war against Ukraine despite the collapse and rout of its army group near Kharkiv.

Kyiv’s troops on Monday reached parts of the north-eastern border that had been occupied since the first day of the war in February. They were also reported to have crossed the Siversky Donets river in Luhansk and Donetsk regions to threaten Russian lines of communication there.

Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, vowed that the “special military operation” would continue but refused to answer directly when asked if Putin retained confidence in the military leadership.

“The military operation continues. And it will continue until the goals that were originally set are achieved,” he told journalists on Monday.

“The president is in round-the-clock communication with the Minister of Defense and with all military commanders. It cannot be otherwise during the special military operation,” Mr Peskov said.

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