Ukraine says dozens of Russians were killed in the fighting in the south

  • Kyiv says more than 100 Russian soldiers were killed on Friday
  • Ukraine says rail links to Kherson via Dnipro have been cut
  • UK spy chief says Russia is ‘running out of steam’
  • Russia publishes list of dead and wounded Ukrainian prisoners of war

Kyiv, July 30 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s military said on Saturday it had killed dozens of Russian soldiers in fighting in the south, including in the Kherson region, which is the focus of Kyiv’s counteroffensive in that part of the country and a key link. to the Moscow supply lines.

Rail traffic to Kherson across the Dnipro River had been cut, the army’s southern command said, and could further isolate Russian forces west of the river from supplies in occupied Crimea and to the east.

Defense and intelligence officials from Britain, which has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest allies in the West since Moscow invaded on February 24, described Russian forces struggling to maintain momentum.

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Ukraine has used Western-supplied long-range missile systems to severely damage three bridges across the Dnipro in recent weeks, cutting off the city of Kherson and, according to British defense officials’ assessment, leaving the 49th Army of Russia stationed on the west bank of the river. vulnerable

The southern command of the Ukrainian military said on Friday that more than 100 Russian soldiers and seven tanks had been destroyed during fighting in the south.

The first deputy head of the Kherson regional council, Yuri Sobolevsky, told residents to stay away from Russian munitions dumps.

“The Ukrainian military is pouring it on the Russians and this is just the beginning,” Sobolevsky wrote on the Telegram app.

The pro-Ukrainian governor of the Kherson region, Dmytro Butriy, said the Berislav district was particularly hard hit. Berislav is located across the river to the northwest of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station.

“In some villages, not a single house has remained intact, all infrastructure has been destroyed, people live in cellars,” Butriy wrote on Telegram.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

Officials in the Russian-appointed administration that runs the Kherson region earlier this week rejected Western and Ukrainian assessments of the situation.

In an intelligence update on Saturday, Britain’s defense ministry said Russia had likely established two pontoon bridges and a ferry system to make up for bridges damaged in the Ukrainian attacks.

Authorities installed by Russia in the occupied territories of southern Ukraine were possibly preparing to hold referendums on joining Russia later this year and “probably coerced the population into revealing personal data to compile records of vote,” he added. Read more

On Friday, the ministry described the Russian government as “desperate”, having lost tens of thousands of soldiers in the war. The head of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence agency, Richard Moore, added on Twitter that Russia was “running out of steam”.


Ukraine and Russia have traded charges over a missile attack or explosion that appeared to have killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war in eastern Donetsk province. The incident took place early Friday in the frontline town of Olenivka held by Moscow-backed separatists.

Russia’s defense ministry on Saturday released a list of Ukrainian prisoners of war it said were killed and wounded in what it said was a missile attack by the Ukrainian military. He said the attack by US-made HIMARS rockets had killed 50 prisoners and wounded 73 others.

Ukraine’s armed forces denied responsibility, saying Russian artillery had targeted the prison to cover up the abuse of detainees there. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Friday that Russia had committed a war crime and called for international condemnation.

Reuters could not immediately verify the different versions of the events, but some of the deaths were confirmed by Reuters reporters who visited the prison.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his condolences for the deaths in a phone call with Kuleba on Friday, according to a State Department statement on Saturday.

The United States is committed to “holding Russia accountable for the atrocities committed by its forces against the people of Ukraine,” Blinken told Kuleba.

The United Nations is ready to send a team of experts to Olenivka to investigate the incident, if it gets consent from both sides, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said. The International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday it was seeking access to the site and had offered to help evacuate the injured.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that “all political, criminal and moral responsibility for the bloody massacre against Ukrainians lies with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy, his criminal regime and Washington that gives them support”.

A charity linked to Ukraine’s Azov Regiment told Telegram it could not immediately confirm or deny the authenticity of the Russian list of killed and wounded people.

Ukraine has accused Russia of atrocities and brutality against civilians since its invasion and said it has identified more than 10,000 possible war crimes. Russia denies targeting civilians and has denied allegations of war crimes.

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Reporting from Reuters bureaus Writing by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen Editing by Lincoln Feast, William Mallard and Frances Kerry

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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