Ukraine destroys three Russian military vehicles as soldiers flee

Ukraine: Troops in Donetsk discuss impact of M777 howitzers

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Ukraine has destroyed three military vehicles near the frontline in the east, footage has shown, forcing Russian soldiers to flee for their lives. As fighting ramps up in the eastern regions following a retreat for Putin’s forces from Kherson in the south, the footage shows dozens of Russian soldiers scrambling for shelter after being struck by Ukrainian anti-tank missiles. 

In the footage, a Russian tank traversing a battlefield near the eastern frontline is struck by the Ukrainian 66th Mechanized Brigade. 

The brigade, which has been one of the most active in combat in the east, used anti-tank guided missiles to destroy the Russian tank. 

The footage then shows the brigade blowing up an armoured vehicle hiding in the forest. 

A transport truck was also struck by the brigade. After it is hit, dozens of Russian troops flee the site for cover. 

Elsewhere in the east, Ukraine’s presidential office said at least five civilians were killed and 21 wounded in the latest Russian shelling. 

Russian attacks in the Donetsk region focused on the strategically located town of Kurdiumivka south of Bakhmut. 

In Bakhmut itself, Russian rockets hit residential buildings and a kindergarten, according to regional authorities.

Footage of the kindergarten building showed the multi-coloured complex ablaze with plumes of smoke pouring from its burning roofs. 

Once known for its vineyards and cavernous salt mines, Bakhmut has now been dubbed “the meat grinder” due to the brutal trench warfare, artillery duels and frontal assaults that have defined the brutal fight for the city for over six months.

Meanwhile, the European Union mooted on Wednesday to set up a UN-backed court to investigate possible war crimes Russia committed in Ukraine and to use frozen Russian assets to rebuild the war-torn country.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a video message that the EU will work with international partners to get “the broadest international support possible” for the tribunal, while continuing to support the International Criminal Court.

Ms Von der Leyen added the EU wants to make Russia pay for the destruction it caused in neighbouring Ukraine by using Russian assets frozen under sanctions. 

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, his military forces have been accused of abuses ranging from killings in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha to deadly attacks on civilian facilities, including the March 16 bombing of a theater in Mariupol that, it has been alleged, killed close to 600 people.

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Investigations of military crimes committed during the war in Ukraine are underway around Europe, and the Hague-based International Criminal Court has already launched a probe.

But because Russia does not accept the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction, the European Commission said it presented to the 27 EU countries two options to hold the Kremlin accountable: either a “special independent international court based on a multilateral treaty or a specialised court integrated in a national justice system with international judges – a hybrid court”.

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska on Tuesday urged the Ukraine’s invaders to be held accountable. “Victory is not the only thing we need. We need justice,” she told lawmakers in London, comparing Russian war crimes to the atrocities Nazi Germany committed in World War II.

She called on Britain to lead efforts to set up a criminal tribunal to prosecute senior Russians, similar to the postwar Nuremberg trials of leading Nazis.

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