- Drone footage captures Russian soldiers under fire from artillery in Vuhledar
- Ukrainian troops have been locked in ‘fierce’ battles with Russia around Donetsk
Footage from a fierce ongoing battle around Vuhledar, southwest of Donetsk, shows Russian soldiers retreating after their five vehicles were hit by Ukrainian artillery.
The Russian troops were forced to run away and leave their wounded crawling behind them after being struck by airburst ammunition.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called the situation on the frontline ‘acute’, with heavy fighting in the Donetsk region.
Moscow’s appointed leader of the Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, said: ‘The encirclement and subsequent liberation of this city [Vuhledar] solves many problems.’
But Kyiv said the town remained contested, Ukrainian military spokesman Sergiy Cherevaty insisted: ‘There is fierce combat there’.
The Ministry of Defence said on Friday that Russian forces had probably conducted probing attacks near Orikhiv and in Vuhledar, but were unlikely to have achieved ‘substantive advances.’Ukrainian landmines deal heavy damage to Russian tanksProgress: 0%0:00PreviousPlaySkipMuteCurrent Time0:00/Duration Time0:39FullscreenNeed Text+23View gallery
Footage from a fierce ongoing battle around Vuhledar, southwest of Donetsk, shows Russian soldiers retreating after their five vehicles were hit by Ukrainian artillery+23View gallery
The soldiers were laying down for cover beside their vehicles while being targeted by Ukrainian artillery+23View gallery
One injured soldier was seen crawling by himself after his comrades had fled+23View gallery
An aerial view shows damaged buildings, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Vuhledar+23View gallery
A house burns after a Russian military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, near the city of VuhledarTRENDINGRussian tank is blown up as it drives straight over Ukrainian mine136.2k viewing nowPutin set on ‘big war’ with Nato to bring back the Iron Curtain24.3k viewing nowThe six steps it would take for Russia to spark a nuclear Armageddon47.1k viewing now
Russia is said to be planning a ‘new pre-emptive strike’ in Ukraine according to satellite photos which show Putin’s forces building up fortifications.
The new offensive will reportedly take place ahead of the first anniversary of their invasion on February 24.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, said: ‘Now they are preparing for maximum activation, and they believe that by the anniversary they should have some achievements.’
‘There is no secret that they are preparing for a new wave by February 24, as they themselves say,’ he told Radio Svoboda.
He also said that the Russian military has been ‘scouting’ the defence capabilities of Ukrainian troops in the Zaporizhzhia region for a week.
While analysis from Brady Africk, an open-source intelligence analyst, shows Russian new fortifications all along the front in Luhansk, from the Russian border down to Donetsk, and throughout Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
It comes as a video captured a single Russian tank being destroyed by a mine near Donetsk, in what may have been part of a spoiling attack tactic ‘to disperse and distract Ukrainian forces’ ahead of their counter-offensive.
A satellite image from March 2022 (left) and January 2023 (right) shows that Russia is building new lines of defence (trenches in picture on the right) as it reportedly prepares for an offensive next month +23View gallery
A high-ranking Ukrainian official said it is ‘no secret’ that Russia are preparing for a new wave by February 24 – the first anniversary of their invasion+23View gallery
The video begins with a single tank driving down a nearly destroyed roads as an artillery shell lands ahead of it+23View gallery
Shortly after the second explosion another blast is seen, possibly from the tank itself
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The satellite imagery of Moscow’s new fortifications may also show that Putin is concerned about a new Ukrainian counteroffensive – following the news of modern tanks being sent from the West.
‘They’re trying to basically consolidate their gains and keep the parts that they’ve held on to thus far,’ Africk, who works at the American Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Beast.
‘I think it’s definitely both a message to soldiers in Ukraine, and to everyone who might be watching, that they’re going to at least try and stay.’
The news follows a video capturing the moment a Russian tank drives straight into a minefield while taking artillery fire in Ukraine.
The vehicle is seen driving down an empty road, thought to be outside Donetsk, that is surrounded by hundreds of craters from shelling.
The footage shows an artillery shell exploding about 20m ahead of the tank as it continues forward.
The tank disappears behind the cloud of smoke before it drives over a mine and sets of another explosion.
Just a second later another explosion takes place and a fireball erupts from the tank, forcing the soldiers inside to flee.