The Ukrainian armed forces have reached the important logistics and supply node city of Kupiansk in the eastern Kharkiv region
as they continue to make gains in their counteroffensive.
Kyiv's troops have been pictured holding a Ukrainian flag at the outskirts of the city.
The commander of Russia's Chechen Akhmat division, Aptu Alaudinov, played down its strategic significance,
telling the program 60 Minutes on the channel Russia-1 he had "no idea" the city had been "turned into Russia's capital."
"Who knows what they are celebrating over there," Alaudinov said, as he also referred to Balakliya, a Kharkiv town
which the regional military administration head, Oleh Synyehubov, said on Saturday had been retaken.
Video has gone viral of residents tearfully greeting Ukrainian soldiers in the town where footage shows Ukrainian flags flying.
But Alaudinov's view was at odds with that of the military expert Mikhail Khodaryonok,
who insisted that the city would be a key prize for Ukraine because of its position as a logistical base which supplies Russian troops.