Russian president Vladimir Putin's plans to ramp up efforts to invade Ukraine has been met with fierce push back from Ukrainian forces, with Russian troops suffering huge casualties over the past weeks.
Now, Putin has been hit with another major blow after the Ukraine Security Service reportedly captured 11 Russian snipers, who had been firing on Ukrainian troops from various positions.
The capture was reported by independent Ukrainian media service Hromadske Int, which tweeted: "Security Service informed of daily special operations throughout Ukraine. During such an operation in Kharkiv Oblast, 11 Russian snipers were captured who fired on Ukrainian positions, @ServiceSsu reported."
The tweet added that 140 enemy groups were eliminated with 4,000 collaborators also being exposed.
In another tweet, the Ukraine Security Service (@ServiceSsu) wrote: "The heroic resistance of Ukrainian defenders in the Kharkiv region demoralised the enemy. "
Referencing statements made in alleged telephone conversations of the Russian invaders, the tweeted continued: "The occupying forces are in a state of panic and regret that they came to Ukraine for the war."
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Elsewhere, in the western part of the Kherson region at the village of Rybalche, fifteen Russian servicemen are thought to have fled the battlefield, because "they no longer wanted to fight and die."
This news came from the Twitter account Canadian Ukrainian Volunteer (@CanadianUkrain1), which describes itself as a "four-man team fighting in Kherson region."
This latest turn of events comes as Ukrainian officials accused Russia of breaking a ceasefire made to evacuate millions of civilians trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol.
Attempts led by the UN to evacuate people taking shelter in tunnels and bunkers in the Soviet-era Azovstal plant in the city had begun in the past weeks.
However, Mariupol authorities claimed Russian forces had fired at a car that was involved in the rescue operations, killing one Ukrainian fighter and injuring six others.
Andriy Biletsky, a founder of the Azov Regiment taking shelter in the steelworks, wrote in an online post: "The fighting is continuing, the shelling does not stop. Every minute of procrastination is the life of civilians, soldiers and the wounded."
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a late-night video address that Ukraine was working on a diplomatic effort to save defenders barricaded inside the steelworks. It was unclear how many Ukrainian fighters remained there.
"Influential intermediaries are involved, influential states," he said, but provided no further details.
With renewed fighting bringing the rescue efforts to a stop, Zelenskyy has warned that if Russia killed civilians or troops, the Ukrainian government would walk away from any potential peace talks with Moscow.
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