Massive explosion at Russian ammunition depot
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Putin’s army is engaged in a fierce battle to conquer Ukraine’s Donbas in the east of the country, and is closing in on city of Lysychansk. However, the Russians have suffered huge casualties as they seek to make good on their leader’s goal of “liberating” the region. The intense fighting and attritional warfare appears to be taking a severe toll on the morale and sanity of Russian troops, as they struggle to overcome their Ukrainian opponents.
In a video posted on Telegram, a Russian soldier decides to let off steam by performing a bizarre stunt.
Protected by a bullet proof vest, the young man takes a revolver and shoots himself in the stomach.
Before pulling the trigger, he cries out: “Look, this is the f*ing Donbas.”
The soldier falls to the ground in discomfort and struggles to breathe after winding himself badly.
His comrade, who is filming the stunt, bursts out laughing and says: “Looks like he is injured.”
The Kremlin has been scrambling to boost its troop numbers, as it seeks to replace soldiers killed and injured in action.
Some estimates put the number of Russian deaths at over 35,000 since the invasion on February 24.
Moscow has sought to avoid a nation-wide mobilisation, favouring instead to forcibly draft conscripts from the territories it controls in Ukraine.
There have been reports that those who refuse to serve have been threatened with the death penalty.
Commenting on Russia’s attempts to conscript men in Luhansk region, Liudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “The Russian occupiers are searching the area for men who have moved deep into the occupied territories and to safer locations places to flee shelling.
“They raid apartments, households, and suburban areas.
“Conscripts are taken away at gun-point, and in case of any resistance, the men are threatened with execution.”
It comes as two more Britons held by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine could face the death penalty, according to a state news agency in Russian controlled Donetsk.
Andrew Hill of Plymouth and Dylan Healy of Huntingdon are said to have been charged with “forcible seizure of power” and undergoing “terrorist” training.
The report was sourced to an anonymous official and has not been confirmed.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the British Foreign Office said: “We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia.
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“We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”
Mr Hill is believed to have previously served in the Lancaster regiment of the British army, while Mr Healy is reported to have been working in Ukraine as a humanitarian aid volunteer.
Meanwhile, the US has confirmed it will send Kyiv two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counter-artillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition as part of its latest weapons packages.
The package, worth around $820m (£677m, was formalised by the Pentagon on Friday, having initially been announced by US President Joe Biden at the NATO summit in Madrid on Thursday.
Washington will also provide Ukraine with more ammunition for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).
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