KHARKIV, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces destroyed a pontoon bridge and parts of Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video footage released by Ukraine’s military showed on Friday, and a Russian naval ship was set afire in the Black Sea. 

Russia has suffered setbacks on the battlefield as Ukraine drives its troops out of the region around the second-largest city of Kharkiv, the fastest advance since forcing the Kremlin’s forces from Kyiv and the northeast over a month ago. 

Reuters journalists have confirmed Ukraine is now in control of territory stretching to the banks of the Siverskiy Donets River, around 40 km (25 miles) east of Kharkiv. 

Footage released by Ukrainian Airborne Forces Command appeared to show several burnt out military vehicles and segments of a bridge partially submerged in the river. The images showed many more damaged or abandoned vehicles, including tanks, in the woods and on the track leading to the river. 

Delivering a daily intelligence update on Friday, Britain’s defence ministry said the images suggested that Russia had lost armoured manoeuvre elements of at least one battalion tactical group and the pontoon bridging equipment depolyed while crossing the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk. 

Reuters could not immediately verify the report, or when or where the clash took place. 

The British defence ministry said Russia was investing significant military effort further south from Kharkiv, near Izium and Severodonetsk, and was attempting a breakthrough towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. 

The Kremlin calls its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to demilitarise a neighbour threatening its security. It denies targeting civilians. 

Ukraine says it poses no threat to Russia and that the deaths of thousands of civilians and destruction of cities and towns show that Russia is waging a war of aggression. 

In the capital Kyiv, wives and …read more



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