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Ukrainian troops fighting Vladimir Putin’s army in eastern Ukraine have destroyed a “significant” number of Russian armored vehicles in a failed attempt by invading forces to cross a river, Britain’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.
The announcement comes after Ukraine released images 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 submerged pontoon bridges.
“Images show that while crossing the Siverskyi Donets River west of Severodonetsk, Russia lost significant armored maneuver elements of at least one tactical battalion group, as well as deployed pontoon bridging equipment,” the ministry said in a tweet.
RUSSIA WITHDRAWS TROOPS AFTER ‘HEAVY LOSSES’ AND PROVES ‘INABILITY TO CAPTURE KEY UKRAINE CITIES,’ SAYS UK
“Performing river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky maneuver and speaks to the pressure Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry added.
But “Russian forces have not made significant progress, although they have concentrated their forces in this area after withdrawing and redeploying units from Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts,” she concluded.
In its own tweet, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said, “Artillerymen of the 17th #UAArmy Armored Brigade opened up the Christmas season for the Russian army” as “some were bathed in the Siverskyi Donets River and others were burned by the May sun.”
Yesterday the British ministry said Russia’s withdrawal of troops from a Ukrainian region it had encircled early in the war proves its “inability to capture key Ukrainian cities”.
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In an intelligence update, the ministry said: “Ukrainian forces are continuing their counterattack north of Kharkiv and are 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“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the early stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces after heavy casualties,” the ministry added.