Russia’s President gave the go-ahead for his troops to invade Ukraine on February 24 after more than 100,000 of his country’s troops had spent weeks massing on the border. But Vladimir Putin’s war plan has suffered several hammer blows along the way, coming up against courageous Ukrainian resistance whose troops have forced Russian soldiers out of cities they had been confident of occupying. The Russian President has also lost several of his high-ranking officials in the brutal battle.
Now, he has suffered a devastating blow after the Ukrainian 80th Paratrooper-Storm Brigade destroyed a unit of the Russian 104 Paratrooper-Storm Regiment (76th Division).
Around 20 servicemen were killed and their armour also destroyed.
Viktor Kovalenko, a former Ukrainian journalist and editor and a Ukraine Army veteran officer, tweeted: “The Ukrainian 80th Paratrooper-Storm Brigade confirms that they annihilated a unit of the Russian 104 Paratrooper-Storm Regiment (76th Division).
“About 20 Russian servicemen were killed and their armour destroyed. The location wasn’t disclosed.”
The Command of Air Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine had earlier said: “Thanks to the coordinated work of the artillery units of 80 separate air assault brigade of the Airborne Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a platoon of the 104th Guards Air Assault Regiment of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division of the Airborne Forces of Russian Federation was destroyed.”
However, this comes with Russian troops entering the edges of the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk as it becomes a key part of Moscow’s offensive.
Russia has focused its firepower on the last major population centre still courageously occupied by Ukrainian forces in the Luhansk province.
Relentless shelling has left Ukrainian forces defending ruins in the city, although once again, their refusal to withdraw has dented the wider Russian offensive across the Donbas region.
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But in a more upbeat comment, he added Ukrainian forces had forced Russian troops to backtrack out of the village of Toshkivka to the south.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described capturing Sievierodonetsk as “a fundamental task for the occupiers”.
He said in a televised speech: “Some 90 percent of buildings are damaged.
“More than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock has been completely destroyed.”
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry warned Russia is trying to regroup to attack the strategically important town of Sloviansk, located slightly further to the west.