Russia says it takes control of two more settlements in eastern Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian forces have taken control of the settlements of Soloviove in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region and Kotliarivka further north in the Kharkiv region, the defence ministry said on Monday.

Ukraine's military made no mention of either locality in its evening General Staff report. Kharkiv Regional Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on Monday that Kotliarivka, located near the town of Kupiansk, was one of several locations to come under Russian shelling.

But Ukrainian bloggers appeared to acknowledge that both villages were in Russian hands.

DeepState, a popular forum on the war, noted on Saturday that Kotliarivka had been captured by Russian forces and on Sunday said the neighbouring village of Kyslivka was also in Russian hands.

DeepState reported that Soloviove, northwest of the Russian-held town of Avdiivka, had been taken by Russian forces last week.

Russia has made slow but steady advances since taking Avdiivka in February, with a string of villages in the area falling to Moscow's forces.

(Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ron Popeski)