Ukraine war: Russian weapons depot blown up in daring counterattack

Kherson, Ukraine - The Ukrainian military started a counteroffensive against Russian troops occupying parts of the southern Kherson region with a spectacular operation late on Monday.

Footage of a Russian weapons depot in Kherson exploding after an attack by Ukrainian forces.
Footage of a Russian weapons depot in Kherson exploding after an attack by Ukrainian forces.  © Collage: Screenshot/Telegram/hueviyherson

A weapons depot was targeted in the city of Nova Kakhovka starting, the Ukrainian military's southern command said in a Facebook update.

A howitzer and military technology were destroyed and Russian forces lost more than 50 soldiers, according to Ukraine.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on Tuesday reported at least seven were dead, four missing and dozens injured after the attack, citing the pro-Russian leadership installed in Nova Kakhovka.

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Many people were buried under rubble and hundreds of homes were damaged, according to the RIA Novosti report.

It was not initially possible to independently verify statements from either side, but footage posted on social media showed huge explosions produced by what the Kremlin and experts identified as a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) delivered by the US.

The Ukrainian government recently called on civilians to flee some regions as it announced plans to recapture areas that had been lost to Moscow, particularly with the help of weapons supplied by Western nations.

Russia relying increasingly on mercenaries and convicts

Russian attacks on Ukraine continue as firefighters battle a blaze in Mykolaiv, where a missile struck a residential building.
Russian attacks on Ukraine continue as firefighters battle a blaze in Mykolaiv, where a missile struck a residential building.  © via REUTERS

British intelligence experts believe that, due to a lack of fighters on the ground, the Russian army may be turning to "non-traditional recruitment" and that includes inmates from Russian prisons for the Wagner Private Military Company.

The Wagner group is a network of mercenaries, widely described as the private army of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Officially, however, the group does not exist.

"If true, this move likely indicates difficulties in replacing the significant numbers of Russian casualties," the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in its daily report on Tuesday.

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The Ukrainian secret service has recently said that Russia was recruiting prisoners for paramilitary organizations in view of the high number of losses.

The men were promised early release after fulfilling their contractually agreed duties, the agency said. The information could not be independently verified.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Telegram/hueviyherson

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