Ukrainian troops fighting Vladimir Putin’s army in eastern Ukraine have destroyed a “significant” number of Russian armored vehicles during a failed attempt at a river crossing by the invading forces, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense said Friday.
The announcement comes after Ukraine released images purportedly showing more than two dozen burnt-out Russian tanks and other armored carriers scattered along the banks of the Siverskyi Donets River. One of the images appears to show partially sunken pontoon bridges.
“Images indicate that during the crossing of the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk, Russia lost significant armored maneuver elements of at least one Battalion Tactical Group as well as the deployed pontoon bridging equipment,” the Ministry said in a tweet.
“Conducting river crossings in a contested environment is a highly risky maneuver and speaks to the pressure the Russian commanders are under to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the Ministry added.
But “Russian forces have failed to make any significant advances despite concentrating forces in this area after withdrawing and redeploying units from the Kyiv and Chernihiv Oblasts,” it concluded.
In its own tweet, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense said “artillerymen of the 17th tank brigade of the #UAarmy have opened the holiday season” for the Russian army, as “some bathed in the Siverskyi Donets River, and some were burned by the May sun.”
Yesterday, the U.K. Ministry said Russia’s withdrawal of troops from a Ukrainian region that they encircled at the beginning of the war is proving their “inability to capture key Ukrainian cities.”
In an intelligence update, the Ministry said “Ukrainian forces are continuing to counterattack to the north of Kharkiv, recapturing several towns and villages towards the Russian border.”
“Despite Russia’s success in encircling Kharkiv in the initial stages of the conflict, it has reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces following heavy losses,” the Ministry added.