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Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine Has Exacted ‘Horrific’ Cost On Civilians, UN Rights Chief Says

Ukraine’s military has acknowledged it struck a training ground in occupied Kherson where Russian troops were preparing for an assault on Ukraine’s bridgehead at Krynka on the left bank of the Dnieper River, the second time this week a strike has killed scores of Russian personnel.

At the same time, Kyiv denied Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s claim that Russian forces had captured the Ukrainian bridgehead at Krynka.

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“There were at least three strikes on the concentration of Russian troops at the training ground near Novaya Kakhovka,” Nataliya Humenyuk, spokeswoman of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine, told RFE/RL on February 22.

“The Russian military was preparing to storm Krynka, which they claimed they had already been captured…. According to preliminary data, commanders of the Dnieper group [of Russian forces] were also there. The information is still being checked,” Humenyuk said.

In a separate statement made to Suspilne, Humenyuk said at least 60 Russian soldiers were killed in the attack.

Russia has not commented on the strike, which was first reported by both the Ukrainian Telegram channel DeepState and Russian pro-war bloggers that it resulted in heavy losses. A video of the purported attack consisting of three strikes was also published on Telegram channels.

However, the information could not be independently verified.

At a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 20, Shoigu said Krynka “has been cleared,” but Ukraine’s military said his statement was “a falsification of the facts.”

Ukrainian forces in November 2022 liberated Kherson city and the rest of the region on the right bank of the Dnieper forcing Russian troops across the river. Last year, Kyiv’s troops managed to also establish a small bridgehead on the Dnieper’s left bank, which has come under constant Russian attacks.

The purported Ukrainian strike on Russian forces in Kherson was the second in as many days in which a large number of Russian troops were reportedly killed.

On February 21, BBC Russian reported that a Ukrainian strike on a training ground in Moscow-occupied Donetsk had killed at least 60 Russian troops.

According to the report, Russian soldiers from the 36th Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade had been lined up and were waiting for the arrival of Major General Oleg Moiseyev, commander of the 29th Russian Army, when the strike occurred on February 20.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine has commented on the report. Pro-Russian social media outlets posted videos and photos purportedly showing dozens of uniformed dead bodies, accusing Moiseyev of making soldiers stand in line waiting for his arrival when they were hit.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said on February 22 that since launching the invasion two year ago, Russia has launched more than 8,000 missiles and 4,630 drones — of which 3,605 have been shot down — at targets inside Ukraine.

In Moscow, former President Dmitry Medvedev boasted that after Ukrainian forces last week withdrew from the eastern city of Avdiyivka following a monthslong bloody battle, Russian troops would keep advancing deeper into Ukraine.

With the war nearing its two-year mark amid Ukrainian shortages of manpower, more advanced weapons, and ammunition, Medvedev signaled Moscow could again try and seize the capital after being pushed back decisively from the outskirts of Kyiv during the initial days of the invasion in February 2022.

“Where should we stop? I don’t know,” Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said in an interview with Russian media.

“Will it be Kyiv? Yes, it probably should be Kyiv. If not now, then after some time, maybe in some other phase of the development of this conflict,” he said.

Medvedev was once considered a reformer in Russia, serving as president to allow Vladimir Putin to be prime minister for four years to abide by term limits before returning to the presidency for a third time in 2012.

But the 56-year-old former lawyer has become known more recently for his caustic articles, social media posts, and remarks that echo the outlandish kind of historical revisionism that Putin has used to vilify the West and underpin the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

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