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Ukrainian forces fighting Vladimir Putin’s army in eastern Ukraine destroyed a “significant” number of Russian armored vehicles in a failed attempt to cross a river by the invading forces, the British Defense Ministry said Friday.
The announcement comes after Ukraine released images allegedly showing more than two dozen burnt-out Russian tanks and other armored carriers scattered along the banks of the Siverskyi Donets River. One of the images appears to show partially sunken pontoon bridges.
“Images indicate that during the crossing of the Siverskyi Donets River west of Severodonetsk, Russia lost key armored maneuver elements from at least one Battalion Tactical Group, as well as deployed pontoon bridging equipment,” the ministry said in a tweet.
RUSSIA WITHDRAWS TROOPS AFTER ‘SERIOUS LOSS’, PROVES ‘INABILITY TO CONFIRM KEY UKRAINIAN CITIES’, UK SAYS
“Crossing rivers in a contentious environment is a very risky maneuver and speaks to the pressure on Russian commanders to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry added.
But “Russian forces have failed to make any significant progress despite concentrating troops in this area after withdrawing and redeploying units from Kiev and Chernihiv oblasts,” it concluded.
In its own tweet, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said that “gunners of the 17th tank brigade of the #UAarmy have opened the holiday season” for the Russian army, as “some bathed in the Siverskyi Donets River, and some were burned by the May sun. ”
Yesterday, the British ministry said Russia’s withdrawal of troops from a Ukrainian area it surrounded at the start of the war proves it “is incapable of taking key Ukrainian cities”.
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In an intelligence update, the ministry said that “Ukrainian forces continue to counterattack in the north of Kharkov and recapture several towns and villages towards the Russian border.”
“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the early stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces after heavy casualties,” the ministry added.