Russia accused of laying 1950s mines in southern Ukraine
Russian troops are laying mines from the 1950s in an effort to prevent counterattacks by defending forces in southern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian intelligence.
The Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) said that the mines had been moved by a convoy of Moscow’s military trucks from the Rostov region of Russia to the area around Kherson, which has been under control of Putin’s forces since the early days of the invasion.
Some of the mines detonated during the journey and killed Russian sappers from the 49th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District, the Ukrainians said.
The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank in Washington, said that Russian forces were continuing to use “outdated military equipment to Ukraine to replace losses”.
In its latest assessment it said that the GUR’s report was consistent with previous statements that Russian forces were moving “old and obsolete” equipment to the country. This has included hundreds of ageing T-62 tanks from the 1960s, and rocket systems and 152mm howitzers from storage in Irkutsk, Siberia.
Ukraine is trying to carry out a counterattack in Kherson, one of the first areas to be taken by Russia after the February 24 invasion, as its troops struggle in the eastern Donbas region.
Ukraine said today that it had launched new air strikes on Russian positions in the region.
“Our aircraft carried out a series of strikes on enemy bases, places of accumulation of equipment and personnel, and field depots around five different settlements in the Kherson region,” the defence ministry said.
The Moscow authorities in occupied Kherson have proposed a referendum on integrating with Russia, mirroring a controversial vote in Crimea in 2014, and have announced the Russian rouble will now be used.