Ukrainian soldiers released rare footage of their counterattacks against Russian forces in the eastern regions. In the footage, three Ukrainian soldiers can be seen advancing slowly on Russian forces before being fired upon. The clip shows one of the soldiers firing at Russian troops with an assault rifle. Later, the 5th Separate Assault Regiment used truck-mounted missile systems to fire at Russian troops in Donetsk Oblast from a distance. They then take cover in a makeshift trench, strategizing how to advance further into the area, and then pass through a local town abandoned by Russian troops.
On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed his country’s counterattacks in the east of the country.
Mr. Zelensky, after visiting the recently liberated city of Izyum, praised the speed of the attacks and called for new Western arms supplies to reinforce these successes.
But he added it was too “early to talk about ending this war” as Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown no interest in backing down.
Speaking at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and publicly discussing the war for the first time since Ukraine routed Russian troops in the Kharkiv region last week, Putin threatened to hit Ukrainian infrastructure and said, “We’ll see how (Ukraine’s counteroffensive) comes to an end.”
He also has accused the West of wanting to break Russia and said he had sent Russian armed forces to Ukraine in February in order to prevent this.
As Ukrainian forces regain territory in the east, areas lost to Russia for several months, officials said they are uncovering mass graves and new evidence of Russian war crimes.
Mr Zelensky on Friday accused Russia of torture and war crimes in northeastern Ukraine and compared the consequences in the recaptured areas to Russia’s withdrawal from around Kyiv months ago.
In an interview at his presidential office, he said many Ukrainians were buried at sites in the northeast, including entire families and tortured people.
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“To date, there are 450 dead buried. But there are others, separate burials of several people. Tortured people. Whole families in certain territories,” he said.
When asked if there was evidence of war crimes, he replied, “It’s all there. Commissions of inquiry with international partners, mixed commissions of inquiry.
“There is evidence, and assessments are ongoing, Ukrainian and international, and it’s very important for us, for the world to recognize that.”
Russia regularly denies targeting civilians in what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine and has in the past said accusations of human rights abuses were a smear campaign.
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