Russian forces announced that they had thwarted a naval attack in Crimea, while the head of the Russian Wagner Group vowed to kill all Ukrainian prisoners on the battlefront.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement that its forces thwarted an attack by 3 unmanned boats on the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea, adding that the three boats were destroyed.
Prior to that, the governor of the city of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvogaev, said that the port of the city, which includes the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, was subjected to an attempt at dawn today by two naval drones.
Razvogaev added – via the Telegram application – that the Russian forces in charge of defending the port destroyed one of the two boats, while the other exploded on its own, indicating that this response took place outside the port, whose facilities were not damaged.
Marine drones are equipment that operates on the surface of the water and operates remotely, and this equipment has previously been used in the context of what is believed to be Ukrainian attacks on Russian targets in the Black Sea.
According to Western intelligence reports, Russia has built large fortifications in Crimea in anticipation of a Ukrainian attack on the region, which Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said their country is determined to recover.
Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian armed Wagner Group, which is fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine, ordered the killing of Ukrainian soldiers instead of imprisoning them.
He added that his elements will no longer adopt the strategy of imprisoning Ukrainian soldiers, but will kill them, in response to what he says is the execution of one of his men at the hands of Ukrainian forces.
"We do not know the name of our wounded element, who was killed by miserable Ukrainians … but we will kill everyone on the front line, we will not imprison anyone" after today, Prigozhin said in an audio message published by the media of his group on Telegram.
In other field developments, the Institute for the Study of War – an American think tank – quoted Russian military bloggers as saying that the Ukrainian forces crossed to the eastern bank of the Kherson River (south), which was under the control of the Russian forces.
The institute also quoted Russian bloggers as saying that the Ukrainian forces had fixed positions on the eastern bank of the river, and that the Russian forces might have lost control of two islands and parts of the lands there.
For his part, Vladimir Saldo, the Russian-appointed governor of Kherson, denied what was mentioned in the Institute for the Study of War report, and said that the Russian army is on the eastern bank of the river. Our fighters destroy it or push it into the water."
On the Ukrainian side, Natalia Homenyuk, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Southern Command, did not confirm or deny the report, and called for a "media silence" to ensure the security of operations.
Russia withdrew its forces from the western bank of the Kherson River last November.