Two US citizens killed in Donbas as ‘heavy fighting’ continues in Kherson

·2-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Two American citizens have been killed while fighting for Ukraine, reports have stated.

According to ABC News, the US nationals were killed while fighting in the eastern Donbas region.

A US State Department statement reads: “We can confirm the recent deaths of two US citizens in the Donbas region of Ukraine.

“We are in touch with the families and providing all possible consular assistance.”

In its latest update on the conflict, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has claimed heavy fighting is taking place in the Kherson province.

Although fighting has intensified in the region, the MoD said Russian supplies lines are becomign increasingly vulnerable.

"Supply lines of the Russian forces west of the river are increasingly at risk," the ministry said in an intelligence update.

It added that additional Ukrainian strikes have caused further damage to the key Antonivsky Bridge, though Russia has conducted temporary repairs.

The MoD added: “It has not been possible to verify claims by Ukrainian officials that Russia is preparing to construct an alternative, military pontoon bridge across the Dnipro.

“The Russian army prioritises maintaining its military bridging capability, but any attempt to construct a crossing of the Dnipro would be a very high risk operation.

“If the Dnipro crossings were denied, and Russian forces in occupied Kherson cut off, it would be a significant military and political setback for Russia.”

It comes after Russia’s Foreign Minister warned on Friday that the Kremlin’s aims have expanded beyond taking Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

In an interview with Russian state media, Sergei Lavrov also claimed peace talks made no sense because Western governments were pressurising Ukraine to fight rather than negotiate.

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Putin denied any intention of occupying his neighbour.

But Lavrov yesterday admitted that "geographical realities" had changed, and "now the geography is different, it’s far from being just the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic - it’s also Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions and a number of other territories.”

"This process is continuing logically and persistently".

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded: "By confessing dreams to grab more Ukrainian land, (the) Russian foreign minister proves that Russia rejects diplomacy and focuses on war and terror. Russians want blood, not talks."

Meanwhile the US’s National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Russia was planning to annex swathes of Ukraine using a similar "playbook" to the one when it took over Crimea in 2014.

He warned that occupied regions of Ukraine could hold "sham" referenda on joining Russia as soon as September.

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