Russian troops accidentally strike themselves as grenade bounces back

Russian soldiers throw and grenade bounces off tree

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Frontline footage from the war in Ukraine captured by Ukrainian soldiers shows a squad assaulting a dugout defended by Russian soldiers. Amid confused fighting in the dense undergrowth, one of the men shouts a warning to his comrade “grenade!”

A loud bang can be heard shortly afterwards as the grenade detonated but the Ukrainian unit appears unharmed.

One of the soldiers heads back towards the Russian position and sprays the shelter with gunfire.

The footage suggests that the grenade thrown by the Russian soldiers landed back in the dugout after hitting a tree.

In recent weeks, Russia has unleashed a wave of missile and drone strikes, hitting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and forcing power cuts in Kyiv and other places, officials said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday the attacks “will not break us”.

“To hear the enemy’s anthem on our land is scarier than the enemy’s rockets in our sky. We are not afraid of the dark,” he said in a video address.

Ukrainian officials have said tough terrain and bad weather have made Ukraine’s advances in Kherson and the east slower than its swift pushback of Russian forces in the northeast last month and Russia’s hasty retreat from Kyiv early in the war.

Early on Friday, the Ukrainian military provided a summary of battlefield action in Kherson, where Ukrainian and Russian forces have been preparing for weeks for what could be one of the most consequential battles of the war.

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Kherson, one of four partially occupied provinces that Russia proclaimed annexed last month, controls both the only land route to the Crimea peninsula that Russia seized in 2014 and the mouth of the Dnipro river that bisects Ukraine.

Russia has urged people in Kherson to flee ahead of an expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed leader of Crimea, wrote on the Telegram messaging service that the work to move Kherson residents to regions of Russia had been completed.

He also said Putin’s first deputy chief of staff, Sergei Kiriyenko, has visited Kherson.

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The Ukrainian military said in a Facebook post that its forces in Kherson had killed 44 Russian servicemen in 24 hours, and destroyed an ammunition depot and a hangar with equipment.

However, Ukrainian officials have said tough terrain and bad weather had held up their main advance in Kherson.

On Thursday, a close ally of Putin, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, said 23 of his soldiers had been killed and 58 wounded in a Ukrainian artillery attack this week in Kherson.

After the attack, Chechen forces killed about 70 Ukrainians, he said.

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