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Ukrainian ambush destroys Russian tanks and ‘kills top commander Colonel Zakharov’

Ukrainian ambush destroys Russian tanks and ‘kills top commander Colonel Zakharov’
The colonel ‘was liquidated’ in the ambush – Ukraine’s ministry of defence claimed

Ukrainian forces have claimed to have killed a top Russian commander in an ambush on tanks that they forced into retreat outside Kiev.

Footage showed a column of Russian tanks being fired at in the town of Brovary, on the northeastern outskirts of the capital.

Huge explosions are seen when a number of tanks are hit by projectiles in a residential area of the town.

Ukraine has claimed that Colonel Andrei Zakharov was killed, but this has not been independently verified.

Ukrainian defence troops said they forced the tanks to retreat amid the ongoing Russian invasion that has seen Vladimir Putin’s forces fail to capture Kyiv.

Russian troops had to “move to the defence” as a result of losses of personnel and equipment, according to Ukrainian defence intelligence quoted by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Adicionou: “In particular, the commander of the regiment, Colonel A. Zakharov, was liquidated.”

<p>Andrei Zakharov awarded the Order of Courage by Vladimir Putin in 2016</p>

Andrei Zakharov awarded the Order of Courage by Vladimir Putin in 2016

At least five other Russian commanders have been killed since the invasion was launched two weeks ago, Ukraine has claimed.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that Russia was facing “continued losses”.

Putin could be forced to draw from “other sources” of fighters, the MoD said, because of dwindling manpower as a result of the high number of casualties within his army’s ranks.

He could also resort to hiring mercenaries from the Wagner Group, it has previously been reported, as a number of troops from ally Belarus are said to be refusing to engage in combat.

<p>Vladimir Putin [R] and his Belarusian ally Alexander Lukashenko </p>

Vladimir Putin [R] and his Belarusian ally Alexander Lukashenko

Despite Putin’s forces having so far failed to capture Kyiv, they have continued their heavy bombardment of many towns and cities since he ordered the invasion on 24 fevereiro.

Na quarta-feira, in the Black Sea port city of Mariupol, three people including a child were killed when a maternity hospital was bombed during, what was meant to be, a ceasefire – according to Ukrainian officials.

<p>An injured pregnant woman after the maternity hospital was bombed </p>

An injured pregnant woman after the maternity hospital was bombed

The attack drew fierce condemnation from leaders around the world, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky describing it as a “war crime” and his British counterpart Boris Johnson said it was “barbaric”.

Mariupol is surrounded by Russian forces who are besieging the city, but is still in Ukrainian hands, Ukrainian officials said.

Mr Zelensky warned Russian leaders that the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine will backfire and make Russian citizens hate them.

He said in a video released on Thursday: “You will definitely be prosecuted for complicity in war crimes.”

Russians will also feel the consequences of harsh economic sanctions imposed by the West on individuals and entities, ele adicionou.

O senhor Zelensky disse: "E então, it will definitely happen, you will be hated by Russian citizens – everyone you have been deceiving constantly, daily, for many years in a row, when they feel the consequences of your lies in their wallets, in their shrinking possibilities, in the stolen future of Russian children.”

Enquanto isso, Putin said the sanctions were illegimate and Russia would solve the problems posed by them in “a calm fashion”.

Addressing a government meeting, he also said Moscow – a major energy producer which supplies a third of Europe’s gas – would continue to meet its contractual obligations.

Speaking at the same meeting, finance minister Anton Siluanov said the West had defaulted on its obligations to Russia by freezing its gold and foreign currency reserves.