Putins warships using civilians in insidious raid tactic to evade Black Sea detection

Russian airstrike hits silo with nitric acid at Severodonetsk chemical plant

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As the war in Ukraine rages, the Kremlin’s army has been accused of deceptive strategies and devastating war crimes. Now, the Ukrainian Navy has issued a new warning about merchant vessels, in the Crimean port town of Sevastopol, being raided by “military criminals”.

A post on Facebook reads: “Military criminals raid Sevastopol merchant fleet ships with disabled AIS identification systems for the inability to recognize them as civilian vessels.

“Hiding their warships behind them, the invaders continue to destroy peaceful Ukrainian cities and kill our citizens with winged missiles like ‘Caliber’.”

The navy said these practices are “insidious” and that they were used in the Crimean war in 2014.

The Facebook post adds: “All this once again shows the true face of the Russian Federation.”

Meanwhile, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk region said the Russian army is destroying bridges in Severodonetsk to prevent Ukrainian reinforcements.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov warned on Friday that Russia will continue its military operation in Ukraine “until all its goals have been achieved”.

Meanwhile, Britain’s defence ministry said Russian air activity remains high over Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Russian aircraft are carrying out strikes using both guided and unguided munitions.

Russia has reinforced its troops and used artillery to conduct “assault operations” in Severodonetsk.

However, Russian forces retreated after failed attempts to advance in the nearby town of Bakhmut, according to Ukraine’s military.

Ukraine said it had recaptured a chunk of the factory city of Severodonetsk and could hold it for up to two weeks as fighting raged on.

Sergiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk province, said: “As soon as we have enough Western long-range weapons, we will push their artillery away from our positions.

“And then, believe me, the Russian infantry, they will just run.”

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