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Russia-Ukraine war news: Putin’s forces suffer heavy losses when Ukrainian troops destroy strategic bridge

KIEV, Ukraine – Russia suffered heavy casualties when Ukrainian forces destroyed a floating bridge used by enemy troops to try to cross a river to the east, Ukrainian and British officials said in another indication of that went wrong.

Ukrainian authorities, meanwhile, have opened the first war crimes trial for the conflict. The accused, a captive Russian soldier, is accused of shooting to death a 62-year-old citizen in the first days of the war.

The trial began as Russia’s campaign in the eastern industrial heart of Ukraine, Donbass, progressed dramatically.

Ukraine’s air force has released photos and videos of a damaged Russian bridge over the Siversky Donetsk River and several Russian military vehicles that have been destroyed or destroyed nearby.

Ukrainian news reported that troops had thwarted an attempt by Russian forces to cross the river earlier this week, leaving dozens of tanks and other military vehicles damaged or abandoned. The administration said its troops “drowned the Russian occupiers.”

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The British Ministry of Defense said that Russia had lost “significant maneuvering elements” of at least one regular battalion group as well as equipment used to develop the makeshift floating bridge.

“Crossing rivers in a disputed environment is an extremely dangerous maneuver and shows the pressure on Russian commanders to make progress in their operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement.

In other developments, Finland movement and, possibly, Sweden’s membership in NATO was called into question when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country “does not have a favorable opinion” of the idea. He accused Sweden and other Scandinavian countries of supporting Kurdish fighters and others that Turkey considers terrorists.

Erdogan did not make it clear that he would block the two countries from joining NATO. But the military alliance makes its decisions by consensus, which means that each of its 30 member states has a veto over who can join.

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A NATO expansion would be a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who took over the war in an attempt, he said, to prevent the alliance from advancing eastward. But the invasion of Ukraine has sparked fears in other countries along the Russian side that they might be next.

With Ukraine asking for more weapons to repel the invasion, the European Union’s foreign minister has announced plans to give the country an extra 500m euros ($ 520m) to buy heavy weapons.

The battle for Donbass has turned into a thrilling village battle without significant discoveries on either side.

The head of the Ukrainian army for the Luhansk region of Donbas said on Friday that Russian forces had opened fire 31 times on residential areas the previous day, destroying dozens of houses, especially in the villages of Hirske and Popasianska, and a bridge in Rubizne.

In the south, Ukrainian officials claimed another success in the Black Sea, saying their forces had withdrawn another Russian ship, although there was no confirmation from Russia and no casualties were reported.

The Vsevolod Bobrov spacecraft was severely damaged but is not believed to have sunk when it was hit while trying to deliver an anti-aircraft system to Snake Island, said Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president.

In April, Ukraine sank Moskva, a cruise missile that was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. In March, it destroyed a landing ship.

Vadim Shyshimarin, 21, could face up to life in prison for shooting a Ukrainian man in the head with an open window in a village in the northeastern region of Sumy on February 28, four days after invasion.

Murder is one of the thousands of possible war crimes being investigated by Ukrainian prosecutors. Many of the alleged atrocities came to light last month after Moscow forces ended their bid to occupy Kyiv and withdrew from the capital, exposing mass graves and streets littered with corpses.

In a small courtroom in Kiev, dozens of journalists watched the start of the wartime process, which will be closely monitored by international observers to ensure the trial is fair.

The accused, dressed in blue and gray sweatshirts and gray sweatshirts, sat in a small glass cage during the trial, which lasted about 15 minutes and will continue on Wednesday.

Shyshimarin was asked a series of questions, including whether he understood his rights and whether he wanted a jury trial. The latter denied it.

His attorney, Viktor Ovsyannikov, who has been appointed by Ukraine, has acknowledged that the case against the soldier is strong and has not indicated what his defense will be.

Shyshimarin, a member of a tank unit captured by Ukrainian forces, admitted to shooting the civilian in a video released by the Ukrainian Security Service, saying he had been ordered to do so.

As the war continues, teachers are trying to restore a sense of normalcy as fighting has closed schools in Ukraine and upset the lives of millions of children.

In Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city, classes are held at a metro station that has become home to many families. The children teamed up with their teacher Valeriy Leiko around a table to learn the art of history, with the children’s drawings covering the walls.

“It helps to support them mentally. Because now there is a war and many have lost their homes … the parents of some people are fighting now,” Leiko said. Partly because of the lessons, he said, “they feel loved by someone.”

An older student, Anna Fedoryaka, was attending an online lecture by a professor of Ukrainian literature.

The internet connection was a problem for some, he said. And “it’s hard to concentrate when you have to do your homework with explosions by your window.”

___

Yesica Fisch in Bakhmut, Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Mstyslav Chernov in Kharkiv, Jari Tanner in Helsinki, Elena Becatoros in Odessa and other AP executives around the world contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Russia-Ukraine war news: Putin’s forces suffer heavy losses when Ukrainian troops destroy strategic bridge Source link Russia-Ukraine war news: Putin’s forces suffer heavy losses when Ukrainian troops destroy strategic bridge

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