KEY POINTS

  • Russian soldiers were conducting a reconnaissance mission in Donetsk Oblast
  • The Ukrainian military said it forced the Russians in Yakovlivka to flee their positions 
  • More than 41,000 Russian soldiers have now been killed in the war, says Ukraine

Russian soldiers who survived a counteroffensive launched by the Ukrainian army have fled the war “in panic,” according to a report.

The report posted by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) on Monday said that Russian soldiers who conducted a reconnaissance mission in the village of Yakovlivka in Donetsk Oblast suffered massive losses after they were discovered by the Ukrainian military.

A subsequent counteroffensive forced surviving members of the Russian military unit to retreat from their positions, said the report.

“In the area of Yakovlivka, Russian occupying forces tried to conduct reconnaissance by means of a reconnaissance group. The occupiers were discovered and suffered losses. Surviving members of the group fled in panic,” the UAF General Staff said in a Facebook post.

The Ukrainian army also successfully prevented the Russian forces from advancing and improving their tactical positions in Soledar, Vershnya and Bakhmut.

On the Kramatorsk front, the Russian military did not conduct active operations after it suffered significant losses in personnel, military equipment and morale, the UAF General Staff added.

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February. Since then, at least 41,030 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The Russians are now focusing their war efforts on taking over the province of Donetsk, which, together with Luhansk makes up the eastern Donbas region. The Ukrainian military, in contrast, is now working toward liberating key regions in the south, including Zaporizhzhia where Russian troops are now using a nuclear power plant to fire artillery at Ukrainian targets.

Oleksandr Sayuk, the mayor of Nikopol in Zaporizhzhia, said the Russians are using the nuclear power plant for cover, effectively preventing the Ukrainian military from using rockets to launch a counteroffensive for fear of striking one of the six pressurized water reactors or storage of highly radioactive waste.

“They are hiding there so they cannot be hit,” Sayuk was quoted as saying by The New York Times. “Why else would they be at the electrical station? To use such an object as a shield is very dangerous.”

Ukrainian residents have also fled Nikopol amid the threat of shelling and a potential radiation leak.

The Russian corvette Aleksin fires missiles during a parade marking Navy Day in Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region, Russia July 31, 2022.
The Russian corvette Aleksin fires missiles during a parade marking Navy Day in Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region, Russia July 31, 2022. Reuters / VITALY NEVAR
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