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Ukraine claims to have destroyed almost the entire Russian army in Izyum

Near Kharkiv, Ukrainian troops ride in an armored personnel carrier.
Near Kharkiv, Ukrainian troops ride in an armored personnel carrier. Anatoli Stepanov/Afp via Getty Images

Ukraine claimed to have nearly completely destroyed Russia's 35th Combined Arms Army in Izyum, a Ukrainian city in Kharkiv Oblast.

Andriy Yermak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser, made the claim in a post on his official Telegram channel on Friday.

The Institute for the Study of War, based in the United States, cited a Russian military blogger who appeared to corroborate the claims in a recent report assessing the Russian invasion.

The blogger, writing under the pseudonym Boytsovyi Kot Murz, claimed Russian commanders failed to account for combat challenges in the Izyum woods, resulting in significant losses across several brigades.

He claimed that the 35th Combined Arms Army's 64th and 38th Separate Guard Motor Rifle Brigades had suffered significant losses and now numbered less than 100 soldiers.

The claims have not been independently verified by Toisthe.

The blogger also claimed that Russian commanders failed to provide the units with the necessary equipment to fight in the woods and that artillery was not repaired quickly enough.

According to the military blogger, the units lacked encrypted communication devices, which has been a well-documented problem for Russian military forces throughout the war.

This lack of communication with command centers allowed Ukrainian forces to strike Russian positions with drones, according to the blogger.

On April 5, 2022, people were seen digging graves in Bucha, Ukraine.
On April 5, 2022, people were seen digging graves in Bucha, Ukraine. Image: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra

Russian forces have reportedly been in control of Izyum since April.

Ukraine's prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, previously claimed that Vasyl Lytvynenko, the 30-year-old commander of the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, had ordered his soldiers to kill civilians in the Bucha district near Kyiv.

Venediktova shared a photograph of Lytvynenko on Facebook, saying he was "responsible for violations of the laws and customs of war, as well as murder."

As per al-Jazeera report, the European Union named and blacklisted a Russian military commander on Friday, describing him as a "butcher" of Bucha. EU stated, Russian troops "killed, raped, and tortured civilians in Bucha" under the command of Colonel Azatbek Omurbekov of the 64th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade.

According to the BBC, Ukrainian authorities have recovered approximately 1,000 bodies from Bucha, including 31 children.

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