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Ukrainian troops fighting Vladimir Putin’s army in eastern Ukraine destroyed a “significant” number of Russian armored vehicles during a failed attempt by invading forces to cross a river, the UK Ministry of Defense said Friday.
The announcement comes later Ukraine released pictures allegedly showing more than two dozen burned-out Russian tanks and other armored vehicles scattered along the banks of the Siverskyi Donets River. One of the images appears to show partially sunken pontoon bridges.
“The images indicate that while crossing the Siverskyi Donets River west of Severodonetsk, Russia lost significant armored maneuvering elements from at least one battalion tactical group, as well as the equipment deployed for the pontoon bridge,” said the ministry in a tweet.
“Conducting river crossings in a disputed environment is a highly risky maneuver and speaks of the pressure Russian commanders are undergoing to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry added.
But “Russian forces have failed to make significant progress despite concentrating their forces in this area after withdrawing and redeploying units from the Kiev and Chernihiv oblasts,” he concluded.
In its own tweet, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said that “artillerymen from the 17th Army Tank Brigade #UA opened the holiday season” for the Russian army, as “some bathed in the Siverskyi Donets River and others were burned by the May sun. ”
Yesterday, the UK ministry said that the withdrawal of Russian troops from a Ukrainian region they had encircled at the start of the war is demonstrating their “inability to capture major Ukrainian cities”.
In an intelligence update, the ministry said that “Ukrainian forces are continuing to counterattack north of Kharkiv, recapturing 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“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the early stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces following heavy casualties,” the ministry added.