KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian and British officials have said that Russian troops suffered heavy casualties in the attack on Ukraine, which destroyed a pontoon bridge they used to cross a river in the east, as another signal to save Moscow’s war. Worse.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have launched the first war crimes investigation Conflict Friday. The captured Russian soldier, the defendant, is accused of shooting a 62-year-old citizen in the early days of the war.
An investigation is underway into what appears to be an escalating Russian offensive in Ukraine’s eastern industrial hub of Donbass.
Ukraine’s air command released photos and video of a damaged Russian pontoon bridge over the Siversky Donets River and several nearby Russian military vehicles destroyed or damaged. The command said its troops had “drowned the Russian occupiers.”
The British Defense Ministry said Russia had lost at least one battalion of tactical tactical “significant armor maneuvers” in an attack earlier this week.
“Crossing the river in a competitive environment is a very dangerous maneuver and speaks to the pressure on Russian commanders to advance their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry said in its daily intelligence update.
Among other developments, the move by Finland and Sweden to join NATO was called into question when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was “not in favor” of the idea. He accused Sweden and other Scandinavian countries of supporting Kurdish militants and other countries that Turkey considers terrorists.
Erdogan has not openly stated that he will prevent the two countries from joining NATO. But the military federation makes decisions by consensus, with a veto on who each of its 30 member states can join.
NATO’s expansion would be a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has waged war in an attempt to thwart the alliance’s progress in the east. But the invasion of Ukraine has sparked fears that they could be next in line with other countries on Russia’s side.
As Ukraine demands more weapons to prevent an invasion, the head of the European Union’s foreign ministry has announced plans to provide Kiev with an additional 500 million euros ($ 520 million) for the purchase of heavy weapons.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksi Resnikov says heavy weapons from the West are now on the front line – including US 155mm howitzers – and it will take some time to turn the tide in Ukraine’s favor. He acknowledged that there was no immediate end to the war.
“We are entering a new, long phase of the war,” Resnikov wrote in a Facebook post. “The hardest weeks are waiting for us. How many will be there? No one can say for sure.”
The battle village for the Donbass has become a village, back and forth sloka, with no major improvements on either side and little land acquired.
Ukrainian Independent Military Analyst Ole Zhtanov said that heavy fighting was taking place on the Shivarsky Donetsk River near the city of Severodonetsk. The Ukrainian military has launched counter-attacks but has not been able to stop Russia’s progress, he said.
“The fate of the majority of the Ukrainian army is determined – there are about 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers,” he said.
On Friday, the Ukrainian military chief for the Luhansk region of Donbass said Russian forces had fired 31 rounds at residential areas and destroyed dozens of homes, particularly in the villages of Hirsch and Bopasnyanska and a bridge over Rubisnev.
In the south, Ukrainian authorities claimed another victory in the Black Sea, claiming that their forces had taken out another Russian ship, although there was no confirmation from Russia and no casualties were reported.
Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to the Ukrainian president, said the Vsevolod Bobrov logistics ship was badly damaged but did not appear to have sunk as it was attacked while trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island.
In April, Ukraine sank the first naval missile ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Moscow. In March it destroyed the landing ship.
Former British tank commander Justin Crump, now a security adviser, said Moscow’s losses were forcing it to reduce its objectives. He said the Russians had to use emergency-connected units that had not been trained together, thus reducing efficiency.
“This is not going to happen quickly. So at least we’ve settled into a fighting summer. I think the Russian side is clear that this will take a long time,” he said.
Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating thousands of war crimes. Several atrocities came to light last month after Moscow’s forces abandoned an attempt to seize Kiev and retreated around the capital, exposing mass graves and bodies-laden streets.
In the first war crimes case brought to trial, the Russian sergeant. Vadim Shishimir, 21, faces up to four years in prison if convicted of shooting a Ukrainian man in the head through an open car window four days before the invasion of a village in the northeastern Sumi region.
In a small Kiev courtroom, a large number of journalists witnessed the start of wartime operations, which would be meticulously monitored by international observers to ensure that the trial was fair.
Defendant, wearing a blue and gray hoodie and gray sweatpants, sat in a small glass cage that lasted about 15 minutes and will resume on Wednesday.
Many questions were asked, including whether Shishimarin understood his rights and whether the jury should investigate. He denied the latter.
Viktor Ovshanikov, a lawyer assigned to him in Ukraine, acknowledged that the case against Chip was strong and did not specify what his defense would be.
Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit captured by Ukrainian forces, admitted to shooting a citizen in a video released by the Ukrainian security service, saying he was ordered to do so.
As the war intensifies, teachers are trying to restore somewhat of normalcy after the fighting that closed schools in Ukraine and claimed the lives of millions of children.
In Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, lessons are taught at the subway station, which has become home to many families. The children learned about historical art around a desk with their teacher Valerie Lego, with paintings of young people lined up on the walls.
“It helps to support them mentally because now there is a war and many have lost their homes … some parents are fighting now,” Lyco said.
Anna Fedoriaka, an alumnus, overseen the professor’s online lectures on Ukrainian literature.
Internet connection was a problem for some, he said. And “it’s hard to concentrate when you have to blow your homework out the window.”
Yesica Fisch in Bakhmut, Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Karkiv, Jari Tanner in Helsinki, Elena Becatoros in Odesa and other AP staff around the world contributed to this report.
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