Ukrainian soldiers destroying Russian positions in eastern Ukraine
Russia has got its hands on US tanks in a startling reverse for the much-heralded Ukrainian counteroffensive launched this week.
Video has been released showing US- and German-made heavy artillery seized by Russian troops on the frontline, reports The Daily Express US.
Seemingly trying to provoke Kyiv’s Western allies, the Russian defense ministry claims the Leopard 2 tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles were captured during a battle in the Zaporizhzhia region.
Alongside a short clip, the ministry said in a statement: “Leopard tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. These are our trophies. Equipment of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Zaporizhzhia region.”
READ MORE: Ukraine says it has liberated four villages in counteroffensive
Despite this disruptive loss for Ukraine, hope is not lost. While Germany’s defence minister admitted the country will not immediately be able to replace the tanks it has provided, less than a fortnight ago President Biden announced a new $300million military aid package to Ukraine.
The US package includes sophisticated weaponry such as drones to allow strikes from range.
Ukrainian forces are also successively fighting back in the counteroffensive according to early reports, correcting this latest Russian victory as simply a minor one.
The battle in the Zaporizhzhia region does however continues to be a concern, given that it is home to the largest nuclear plant in Europe, but remains under the Kremlin’s control.
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The region is but 200 kilometers from another hotspot of the counterattack in eastern Donetsk, leading many military analysts to believe it to be a key focus for Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to reclaim in the coming weeks.
In light of the shower of missiles that thundered down on the Zelensky’s hometown overnight, killing at least 10 and wounding more than two dozen, a Ukrainian counterattack is desperately awaited.
A warehouse and residential building in Kryvyi Rih, 200 miles west of Zaporizhzhia, were reported by regional officials to have been struck as well.
Reacting on Telegram, Zelensky said: “More terrorist missiles. Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people.”
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In an exclusive interview with The Daily Express US, a former power plant worker has also described torture methods used by Russians controlling the site.
Former ZNPP worker Oleksii Melnychuk, who fled the plant, said: “The station staff was sent to the so-called basements, where the occupiers used torture – electric shock.
“[We were] forced to go to work due to the fact that it is necessary to control the nuclear reaction. The workers are constantly under stress and in a difficult moral state.”
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