Ukrainian soldiers ride on a tank on the road to the frontline city of Pakmut, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on May 12, 2023.
(CNN) – The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that two senior Russian military officers had been killed in eastern Ukraine, the latest high-profile loss for Moscow. in a grinding war with its western neighbours.
The ministry said two officers – Colonel Vyacheslav Makarov and Colonel Yevgeny Provko – were killed while leading Russian troops in the Donetsk region. It does not specify when or where they were killed.
“The commander of the 4th Motorized Rifle Brigade, Colonel Vyacheslav Makarov, was at the forefront and personally directed the battle,” read a Russian Defense Ministry briefing.
Provko, deputy commander of the army corps for military-political work, led the troops in “repelling enemy attacks” and “died heroically after receiving multiple shrapnel wounds,” the ministry said.
The Donetsk region of Ukraine also includes the city of Bakhmut, which saw the fiercest and most relentless fighting of the war.
A month-long assault on the city by Russian forces, including Wagner mercenaries, has driven thousands from their homes and devastated the area. But despite Russia committing massive manpower to capture the city, they were unable to take full control and suffered heavy losses in the area over the past week.
03:46 – Source: CNN
In the trenches with Ukrainian troops around Pakmut
Ukrainian forces have captured more than 10 Russian positions near Pakmut, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malier said in a cable on Sunday.
Maliar called Bagmut’s situation “very hot”.
The Ukrainian military announced on Sunday that Pakmut and Marinka in eastern Ukraine were at the “center of fighting”.
“The enemy continues to focus its main efforts in the directions of Lyman, Pakmut, Avdivka and Marinka. In total, about 30 combat engagements took place in the above areas in the past day,” the army added.
Ukraine has made “massive efforts to break the defenses of our troops north and south of Artemovsk,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, referring to Pakmut by its Russian name.
“All attacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have been repelled. “There has been no improvement in the security of Russian forces,” the statement said.
03:34 – Source: CNN
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In eastern Ukraine, Russian targets in the occupied city of Luhansk have been hit by missile strikes over the past few days.
The city has become a significant focus of Russia’s invasion effort and has rarely been affected by Ukrainian attacks since the start of the war.
But two missiles hit the area on Friday and another explosion was reported there on Saturday.
Some Russian bloggers suggested, without providing evidence, that Ukraine had recently used cruise missiles supplied by the United Kingdom. But Kiev also has Ukrainian-made Krom missiles with a range to hit Luhansk.
Elsewhere, unconfirmed reports are reported Russia may have shot down four military planes On its own territory on Saturday, this would represent a significant coup for Ukraine if true.
A Russian media outlet said at least two fighter jets — an Su-34 fighter/bomber and an Su-35 fighter — and two Mi-8 helicopters crashed.
The plane reportedly went missing in the Russian region of Bryansk, bordering Ukraine.
Multiple accidents within Russian territory at the same time would be unprecedented. Some analysts believe that Ukrainian air defenses may have been pushed forward because the Russian air force is using more “gliding munitions” that can be fired at targets from a distance.