KEY POINTS

  • The Ukrainian army used a drone to drop an explosive projectile onto a Russian tank
  • It is unclear when and where the Ukrainian counteroffensive occured
  • The Ukrainian army is now working to liberate the occupied Kherson region

The Ukrainian army continues to defend its land against the invading Russians and has recently destroyed a Russian tank and killed more than a dozen soldiers as the war enters its sixth month, a new recording revealed.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) on Sunday released new audio of an intercepted phone call where a Russian soldier, whose identity was not revealed, recounted the attack to his mother.

“Mom, we had such a ‘circus’ today! At two o’clock in the morning – fifteen ‘200’ [killed]. Because they all were watching a movie in the tank. They threw it [a projectile] into the turret from a drone! A drone, mom, a drone! It’s a f**king disaster! They just approached us, dropped the ammo, and it blew up,” the soldier said.

The SSU did not reveal when and where the phone call was intercepted. It was also not immediately clear when the Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive happened.

The recent counteroffensive comes as the war in Ukraine enters its sixth month. Since the invasion began in February, the Ukrainian army has killed at least 39,520 Russian soldiers, according to estimates from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

It is unclear how many Ukrainian soldiers have died in the war and Kyiv has not given any official number. However, senior Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak in early June told BBC News that as many as 200 Ukrainian soldiers were dying in the eastern Donbas region daily.

In April, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov claimed the Russian army had killed 23,367 Ukrainian soldiers, a report from the Russian state news agency TASS noted.

The Ukrainian army is now working on liberating temporarily occupied territories, including the city of Kherson where the Russian army is now forming a seven-member election committee to hold a referendum on joining Russia. The United States has accused Russia of taking steps to annex parts of Ukraine.

Serhiy Khlan, an aide to the head of the Kherson region, said the Ukrainian army will likely liberate them from Russian control by September. He noted that Ukrainian strikes on two key bridges in the Kherson region were part of the army’s preparation for a ground offensive against the Russian military.

An armoured convoy of Russian troops drives in Russian-held part of Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022.
An armoured convoy of Russian troops drives in Russian-held part of Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, July 23, 2022. Reuters / ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO
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