Russian troops are being killed fleeing through their own defensive minefields, UK reveals as Ukraine captures ANOTHER village from Putin’s forces in growing counterattack
- Ukraine captured Storozheve, taking control of fourth village in counterattack
- The UK’s Ministry of Defence said good progress was being made in some areas
- Comes after Ukraine said it captured Neskuchne, Blahodatne and Makarivka
Russian troops are being killed fleeing through their own defensive landmines, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has revealed, as Ukraine captured another village from Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Ukrainian forces are believed to have made good progress in penetrating the first line of Russian defences in some areas, while making slower progress in others, according to an MoD intelligence update over the weekend.
It said over the last 48 hours, ‘significant Ukrainian operations have been taking place in several sectors of eastern and southern Ukraine’ – tallying with claims by Kyiv’s forces that they had liberated four villages from Russian occupation.
Meanwhile, the performance of Moscow’s armies has been ‘mixed’ so far, the ministry said. ‘Some units are likely conducting credible maneuver defence operations while others have pulled back in some disorder.’
The MoD said it had seen an increase in ‘reports of Russian casualties as they withdraw through their own minefields’.
Ukraine has captured another village from Vladimir Putin’s forces in their growing counterattack. Pictured: Ukrainian servicemen of the 35th Separate Brigade of Marines pose for a photograph with the Ukrainian flag in the liberated village of Storozheve
Ukrainian flags, this one in Blahodatne, have started to crop up as Kyiv launches its counterattack
Ukraine has launched its much-anticipated counter attack on Saturday and started to make gains over the weekend
The intelligence update corresponded with analysts who say Ukraine has launched its much-anticipated counteroffensive, with heavy fighting reported on three fronts along the 600-mile frontline separating Kyiv’s and Moscow’s armies.
Ukrainian military officials said Monday their troops have retaken another southeastern village from Russian forces, among the first – small – successes in the new operations against Moscow’s more than 15-month invasion of Ukraine.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram that Ukraine’s flag was again flying over the village of Storozheve, and she predicted the liberation of ‘all Ukrainian land’ would the final outcome.
A day earlier, Ukrainian officials said Neskuchne, Blahodatne and Makarivka – three other small villages clustered together south of the town of Velika Novosilke in the eastern Donetsk region – had also been liberated.
The villages are located in the so-called ‘Vremivka ledge,’ a section of the front line where the Russian-controlled area protrudes into territory held by Ukraine. The area has become one of several epicenters of intense fighting.
The Russian Defense Ministry hasn’t confirmed the Russian retreat from the villages, but some military bloggers have acknowledged the loss of Moscow control there.
Russian authorities, meanwhile, have said their troops have largely held their ground along the front line that runs through southern and eastern Ukraine.
Russian troops are being killed fleeing through their own defensive landmines, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence has revealed. Pictured: Devastating floods in Kherson following the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in southern Ukraine
The villages which have been captured are located in the so-called ‘Vremivka ledge,’ a section of the front line where the Russian-controlled area protrudes into territory held by Ukraine
Ukrainian troops shared a video in which they raised a flag from the window of a destroyed building in Blahodatne, a village in Donetsk they claim to have liberated from Russian occupation
Western analysts and military officials have cautioned any effort to rid entrenched, powerfully armed and skilled Russian troops will likely take months, and the success of any Ukrainian counteroffensive is far from certain.
READ MORE: British Challenger 2 tanks set for key role in Ukraine after country claims to have retaken three villages in eastern Donetsk region in counter offensive against Russia in ‘at least four areas’
On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said ‘counteroffensive, defensive actions are taking place’ without specifying it was an all-out counteroffensive, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin asserted that the counteroffensive had started – and Ukrainian forces were taking ‘significant losses.’
He did not elaborate, and Ukrainian authorities have not publicly specified losses among their troops.
On Sunday, as Ukraine announced the first reported gains of its new offensive, it also emerged that British tanks will play a key role in Kyiv’s counter.
A squadron of 14 Challenger 2 tanks gifted by Britain is on the frontline, The Sun reports, the might of which analysts suggest far outstrips the T-55, their Russian Soviet-era opponents.
The £5million Challenger 2, with a 120mm rifled gun and a 7.62mm machine gun, is a battle tank designed to attack other tanks, and have far greater ranges and accuracy than the Kremlin’s equivalent.
Yesterday, despite Ukrainian countering, three people were killed and at least another 23 wounded as Russia shelled a rescue boat evacuating civilians from Russian-controlled territory, the Kherson region prosecutors’ office said on Sunday.
It marred a day in which Ukraine celebrated the recapture of three villages, the first significant gains in the new campaign.
British missiles were deployed by Ukraine to destroy a suspected Russian military base on Saturday which was visited by Vladimir Putin in April
Yesterday, despite Ukrainian countering, three people were killed and at least another 23 wounded as Russia shelled a rescue boat evacuating civilians (pictured) from Russian-controlled territory
Ukraine announced the first reported gains of its new offensive on Sunday and has captured four villages
Ukrainian servicemen of the 35th Separate Brigade of Marines stand near a destroyed military vehicle in the liberated village of Storozheve, in Dontesk region, Ukraine
‘Neskuchne of the Donetsk region is under the Ukrainian flag again,’ said the state border guard service.
Earlier Sunday, Ukraine’s army said its troops had taken the nearby village of Blahodatne. Ground forces released a video showing soldiers hoisting a Ukrainian flag over a destroyed building.
Military spokesman Valeriy Shershen said in televised remarks the village sat on the border of the eastern region of Donetsk and the southern region of Zaporizhzhia, where Moscow has reported heavy Ukrainian assaults over the past week.
Ukraine’s forces had captured several Russian and pro-Russian troops, Shershen added.
Later Sunday, deputy defence minister Ganna Malyar said Ukraine’s forces had retaken a third village, Makarivka, northwest of Blahodatne.
Major Ukrainian military successes in the Zaporizhzhia region could potentially enable its forces to break through the land bridge that connects Russia with the Crimean peninsula it annexed from Ukraine. This would be a major reversal for Moscow.
Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine had made an unsuccessful attack Saturday night on a Russian warship in the Black Sea. The Priazovye is on patrol duties monitoring the natural gas pipelines there.
The ministry said the attack, by drone boats, had been repelled and its vessel was not damaged.
Ukrainian servicemen ride atop an armoured personnel carrier vehicle (APC) in the Zaporizhzhya region yesterday
The civilians killed and wounded in the shelling of the rescue boat were caught in the fallout from Tuesday’s destruction of the Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam along the front line in the southern Kherson region.
Ukrainian officials say seven people died and 35 people, including seven children, are still missing following the devastating flood unleashed by the dam’s destruction.
While Ukraine accuses Russia of blowing up the dam on the Dnipro River, Moscow says Kyiv fired on it.
‘This is the worst environmental catastrophe since Chernobyl so we are investigating not only a war crime but also an ecocide,’ Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said after visiting the site with representatives of the International Criminal Court.
A total of 450 tonnes of turbine oil have spilled into the waters of the Dnipro and the Black Sea, he added.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said 77 towns and villages had been flooded in Kherson, where five people died, and Mykolaiv, where two died, while 162,000 people were without water supplies.
Zelensky said 4,000 people had been evacuated in the two regions.
The civilians killed and wounded in the shelling of the rescue boat were caught in the fallout from Tuesday’s destruction of the Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam which has caused devastating floods
Ukrainian officials say seven people died and 35 people, including seven children, are still missing following the flood unleashed by the dam’s destruction
A local resident walks in a flooded street after the explosion at the Kakhovka hydropower plant unleashed floodwaters in Kherson
An employee at Kherson’s meteorological agency, Lora Musiyan, said the level of water had dropped by 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) from its peak measurements recorded last week.
In Kherson city, the largest population centre near the dam, the water has begun to subside enough to allow locals to return to assess the damage, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.
‘The losses are significant. I don’t even know what to do now,’ said Oleksiy Gesin, surveying the scene after his grocery store was flooded to chest height.
Damage to the dam may also be a problem for an upstream reservoir used to cool nearby reactors at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said its experts need access to a location near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to assess ‘a significant discrepancy’ in water level measurements, as well as to the electrical switchyard at the thermal power plant.
‘Even though the (plant) has not been producing electricity for several months now, it still needs access to water and power for cooling and other essential safety and security functions and to avoid the risk of a potential fuel meltdown and release of radioactive material,’ the IAEA said in a statement.
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