Russian soldiers surrender after failed raid on chemical factory

Dozens of Russian soldiers surrendered to Ukrainian forces after a failed raid on a chemical factory in the northern town of Vovchansk, in the Kharkiv region.

A video released by Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade on Wednesday shows Ukrainian soldiers taking at least 24 Russians as prisoners of war.

The footage showed the Russian troops emerging from a trench with their hands raised above their heads.

Ukrainian forces had launched a counter attack in the area after the Russian troops had tried to storm the chemical plant, the Kyiv Post reported.

The 24 surrendered soldiers were filmed sitting in a school conference room.

The video appeared to confirm recent reports that claimed groups of Russian soldiers had been surrendering around Vovchansk, where heavy fighting has raged since Moscow launched a new offensive.

Last week, the Khortitsiya Regional Command, which is responsible for ground operations in the sector, claimed more than 60 Russian soldiers had been captured in less than a week.

Russia opened a new front in the Ukraine war by pushing swiftly over the border into the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine in early May with small groups of highly mobile units, forcing Ukraine to rush in troops from other areas.

Russian forces have become bogged down around Vovchansk in recent weeks, but they have slowly advanced in the eastern Donetsk region.

Ukrainian artillerymen set up positions on the front line near the town of Vovchansk
Ukrainian artillerymen set up positions on the front line near the town of Vovchansk - REUTERS/Viacheslav Ratynskyi

The Ukrainian military on Friday said Russian forces had concentrated their firepower on the Pokrovsk front in Donetsk, where overnight strikes wounded at least six people.

The Kremlin annexed the industrial region in late 2022, months after invading, and its forces are making incremental gains there.

“The Pokrovsk front... is the most intense in terms of enemy attacks,” the Ukrainian military said in a briefing.

In the war-battered town of Selydove near the front line in Donetsk, officials said six people were wounded by Russian aerial attacks overnight.

The war-battered town of Selydove near the front line in Donestsk
The war-battered town of Selydove near the front line in Donestsk - Julian Simmonds for The Telegraph

Oleg, a 57-year-old resident, said he heard a strange noise at around 9pm on Thursday.

He thought several helicopters were flying overhead until he saw the explosion.

Lyudmila, still in shock, assessed the damage in her flat where the blast had blown out the windows.

“Everything was blown away,” the 68-year-old said, her face bruised by the blast.

Kyiv and Moscow staged dozens of drone and missile attacks overnight, damaging a fuel reservoir site in a Russian border region.

The two sides have stepped up cross-border aerial assaults in recent weeks, with Kyiv targeting Russian energy facilities and Moscow launching retaliatory barrages.

Russia said it had downed 87 Ukrainian drones, of which 70 had targeted the southern Rostov region that houses the headquarters of its military operation against Ukraine.

The defence ministry said 70 drones were downed over Rostov, six each over Kursk and Voronezh, two each over Volgograd and the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, and one over the annexed Crimean peninsula.

The attacks sparked power cuts in several areas of the Rostov region, its governor Vasily Golubev said on social media.

In the Voronezh region, which borders Ukraine, a fuel reservoir was slightly damaged by falling debris, its regional governor Alexander Gusev said.

Kyiv meanwhile said Ukrainian air defence systems had downed 24 out of 31 Russian drones and missiles fired overnight.

Three people were wounded in a drone attack in the eastern Sumy region and several homes were damaged in the neighbouring Kharkiv region.