Airborne assault destroys Russian ammunition depot
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The war-torn country’s Armed Forces said 80 Separate Airborne Assault Brigade DShV ZSU destroyed a Russian ammunition depot, two Hurricane rocket launchers, an armoured personnel carrier, two trucks and a combat transport. It tweeted: “80 separate airborne assault brigade DShV ZSU broke the jackpot!”
Video footage shows aerial strikes and huge clouds of smoke billowing as fires blaze across an area.
Express.co.uk has not been able to independently verify the video or identify the exact location.
In its latest update, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence claimed Russia has lost 32,750 military personnel since the invasion on February 24.
The ministry also claimed Ukraine has destroyed 1,440 Russian tanks and brought down 213 aircraft, although Express.co.uk has not been able to verify the figures.
Valeriy Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, said on Wednesday that Russia has concentrated its main strike forces in the north of Luhansk region and was trying to attack simultaneously from nine directions.
He said in a message online that the fierce struggle for Luhansk region continues, adding Russian troops were using aircraft, rocket-propelled grenades and artillery.
Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukrainian forces of disrupting efforts to let civilians escape from a chemical plant in an eastern Ukrainian city where a battle has been raging for weeks.
Moscow’s forces are trying to grind Ukrainian resistance down in Sievierodonetsk as part of a wider push to drive Kyiv’s forces out of two separatist regions which Russia backs and has recognised as independent states.
Russian-backed separatists say up to 1,200 civilians may still be taking shelter in the sprawling Azot ammonia plant.
Moscow said it had opened a humanitarian corridor from the plant on Wednesday to allow civilians to escape to Russian-controlled territory.
It accused Ukrainian troops of violating the ceasefire and using civilians as human shields.
The ministry said in a statement: “There are no obstacles for civilians to leave … except for the decision in principle by the Kyiv authorities themselves.”
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Express.co.uk was unable to verify the claim, but Ukraine has strongly denied Russian claims it uses civilians as human shields.
The governor of the Luhansk region said about 500 civilians are still at Azot, including 40 children.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said in its latest intelligence briefing that Russian forces now control most of Sievierodonetsk.
It added: “Russia’s urban warfare tactics, which are reliant on heavy use of artillery, have generated extensive collateral damage throughout the city.”
The update noted Ukrainian troops and several hundred civilians are sheltering in underground bunkers at the Azot plant, stopping Moscow from re-tasking units elsewhere.
It said: “It is highly unlikely Russia anticipated such robust opposition, or such slow, attritional conflict during its original planning for the invasion.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country’s forces are suffering painful losses against Russian troops in both Sievierodonetsk and the Kharkiv region.
It comes as NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said the military alliance is “extremely focused on stepping up support” for Ukraine at a meeting of dozens of defence ministers in Brussels.
He added that an alliance summit in Madrid later this month is expected to agree an assistance package for Ukraine which will help the country with the move from old Soviet-era weaponry to NATO standard gear.
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