Russia: UK Ministry of Defence stands with Ukraine
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Russia is “running out of steam” in its assault on Ukraine, the chief of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence agency, Richard Moore, said in a brief comment on social media on Saturday.
Mr Moore made the remark “Running out of steam…” above an earlier post on Twitter by Britain’s defence ministry, which described the Russian government as “growing desperate” and as having lost thousands of soldiers in its invasion of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defence post read: “The Kremlin is growing desperate.
“Russia has lost tens of thousands of soldiers and is using Soviet-era weapons.
“Their outdated missiles are killing and injuring innocent Ukrainians.
“Russia won’t win this unjust war.
“The UK continues to stand with Ukraine.”
It comes as the Ukrainian military said on Saturday it had killed scores of Russian soldiers and destroyed two ammunition dumps in fighting in the Kherson region, the focus of Kyiv’s counter-offensive in the south and a key link in Moscow’s supply lines.
Rail traffic to Kherson over the Dnipro River had been cut, the military’s southern command said, potentially further isolating Russian forces west of the river from supplies in occupied Crimea and the east.
Ukraine has used Western-supplied long-range missile systems to badly damage three bridges across the Dnipro in recent weeks, cutting off Kherson city and – in the assessment of British defence officials – leaving Russia’s 49th Army stationed on the west bank of the river highly vulnerable.
“As a result of fire establishing control over the main transport links in occupied territory, it has been established that traffic over the rail bridge crossing the Dnipro is not possible,” Ukraine’s southern command said in a statement.
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It said more than 100 Russian soldiers and seven tanks had been destroyed in fighting on Friday in the Kherson region, the first major town captured by the Russians following their February 24 invasion.
The first deputy head of the Kherson regional council, Yuri Sobolevsky, told residents to stay from away from Russian ammunition dumps.
“The Ukrainian army is pouring it on against the Russians and this is only the beginning,” Sobolevsky wrote on the Telegram app.
The pro-Ukrainian governor of Kherson region, Dmytro Butriy, said Berislav district was particularly hard hit. Berislav is across the river northwest of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant.
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“In some villages, not a single home has been left intact, all infrastructure has been destroyed, people are living in cellars,” Butriy wrote on Telegram.
Officials from the Russian-appointed administration running the Kherson region earlier this week rejected Western and Ukrainian assessments of the situation.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Saturday that Russia had likely established two pontoon bridges and a ferry system to compensate for bridges damaged in Ukrainian strikes.
Russian-installed authorities in occupied territories in southern Ukraine were possibly preparing to hold referendums on joining Russia later this year, and were “likely coercing the population into disclosing personal details in order to compose voting registers,” it added.
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