Ukrainian forces say they have conducted a “special operation” on a Dnipro island, as dramatic footage shows soldiers using speed boats and drones.
Ukrainian special forces are said to have headed towards the Russian-held island, firing weapons as they drew closer, aerial footage posted by the Ukrainian army’s command of the special operations forces shows.
The drone’s camera zooms in on soldiers, presumably Russians, jogging away from an observation post, as the force claimed an “enemy boat” was also destroyed.
Three Russian soldiers were killed in the attack, and five others were wounded in the operation on the unnamed island, the command said.
Storyful has verified the location of the footage as the Bilozerskyi district which is situated in the southern Kherson region. The operation comes amid Kyiv’s long-awaited counteroffensive which is now in its sixth week.
Ukrainian officials say Russia launched a drone on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, marking the latest strikes after the capital Kyiv came under fire on three successive nights this week.
Military analysts say in five weeks Ukrainian forces have liberated nearly the same amount of territory Russia captured in six months.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said that since the beginning of the counteroffensive on 4 June, Kyiv has recaptured approximately 253 square kilometres of territory – compared to Russian forces who it says have captured a total of 282 square kilometres since 1 January.
However, although Kyiv says its forces have made progress in the east and south, Russia still occupies swathes of territory and Mr Zelenskyy has admitted in recent weeks that the counteroffensive has gone more slowly than initially hoped.
Putin says Wagner boss refused his offer
While fighting continues on the frontline in Ukraine, in Moscow intrigue surrounding the fallout from the Wagner Group’s 36-hour brief rebellion last month continues.
In the latest development, the Russian president has revealed the made several offers to Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and around 35 of his troops in a meeting five days after the 24 June aborted mutiny.
In an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant, Vladimir Putin said offers included giving the fighters the opportunity to remain serving together – however Prigozhin reportedly disagreed with the terms.
The Wagner boss, who has not been seen in public since the day the mutiny ended, led his fighters in the rebellion demanding the sacking of Russia’s military leadership who he has repeatedly accused of botching the war in Ukraine.
Since the dramatic mutiny, which was ended by a Belarus-brokered deal between the Kremlin and Prigozhin, speculation surrounding the Wagner boss’ whereabouts and the future of his mercenary group has mounted.