A group of "volunteers" from Syria has been identified in the ranks of the Russian elite 98th Airborne Guards Division.
They are probably powder-smoking Syrian commandos, who have a track record of exterminating tens or hundreds of Jihadists, and they certainly know many ways of eliminating the enemy, since experience counts for a lot in these operations.
Their integration into a Russian elite division such as the 98th Airborne Guards Division is another indication that they are probably multi-skilled individuals , intended for commando attacks against Ukrainians and volunteers on the other side.
Russian forces also today detained 17 Ukrainian soldiers who were ambushed during an attempted attack near Novobakhmutova, a security service spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic told TASS.
"17 soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces were detained near Novobakhmutova, where the opponent made another counterattack attempt, but was ambushed by our forces," the spokesman said.
According to him, the Ukrainian military unit was ordered to advance without proper artillery support. As a result, dozens of Ukrainian soldiers were killed.
The US Secretary of Defense admitted that Ukraine is suffering losses in military equipment
Lloyd Austin, the head of the Pentagon, admitted that Ukraine is suffering losses in military equipment on the battlefield during the counter-offensive, but the Armed Forces of Ukraine have enough equipment to continue fighting.
"This is war. We know that the military equipment of both sides will be destroyed on the battlefield. What is important is that the Ukrainians have the opportunity to repair the damaged equipment where possible and put it back on the battlefield," Austin said.
Austin stressed that the ability of Ukraine's allies to continue supplying weapons is vital.
"Military equipment will continue to be destroyed on the battlefield. I think the Russians showed us the same five means of transport a thousand times from 10 different angles. But, frankly, the Ukrainians still have great combat power," he added.
Given the early casualties during the Ukrainian offensive, Andrei Melnuk, Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, called for more German-made tanks.
Hundreds of dead Ukrainians are reported by the Russians while they themselves suffer casualties
Over the past day, Ukrainian troops continued their unsuccessful attempts to advance in the South Donetsk and Donetsk directions, in which they lost more than 400 people, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"The most active hostilities took place on the Brenskoye promontory, in the Rovnopol and Urozhayanove districts, where units of the Russian troop group West intercepted five enemy attacks.
More than 200 Ukrainian servicemen, five tanks, seven infantry fighting vehicles, five armoured fighting vehicles, four vehicles and two mortar teams were destroyed in one day.
In the direction of Donetsk, the southern group repelled five Ukrainian attacks. During the day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine lost there about 215 Ukrainians, three armored fighting vehicles, five vehicles, two D-20 howitzers.
In addition, the ammunition depot of the 109th Territorial Defence Brigade was destroyed.
In the direction of Kupiansk, the Western Group of Forces destroyed two Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance teams, and about 45 Ukrainian soldiers, two armoured vehicles, three vehicles and a US M777A gun.
In the Krasnaliman direction, the air force and artillery of the Russian Center force group intercepted the units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, neutralizing 65 Ukrainians, two armored personnel carriers, two trucks, an Akatsiya self-propelled gun and a D-30," the statement said.
The Ukrainian offensive is not in full swing, Zelensky said, which we cannot confirm in practice. We expect, however, that in the next few days the Ukrainians will throw 50,000 soldiers into the furnace of battle, while the Russians are bombing them every night and laying minefields everywhere.