The militia said: “The moment and consequences of the mortar attack, under which the film crew of the Press Service of the UNM [People’s Militia] of the LPR, VGTRK [All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company] correspondent Nikolai Dolgachev and Izvestia correspondent Alexei Poltoranin fell in the liberated village of Novozvanovka.”
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The LPR is a pro-Russia breakaway state that claims all of Luhansk Oblast – and currently administers most of it – in eastern Ukraine.
None of the media team were reported to have been injured in the attack.
From February 24 to May 17, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at around 27,900 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 1,235 tanks, 3,009 armoured fighting vehicles, 578 artillery systems, 198 multiple launch rocket systems, 90 anti-aircraft systems, 201 warplanes, 167 helicopters, 2,109 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 vessels, 436 unmanned aerial vehicles, 43 units of special equipment and 97 cruise missiles.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), in its latest briefing earlier today, gave corresponding figures for enemy losses as “168 Ukrainian aircraft and 125 helicopters, 912 unmanned aerial vehicles, 309 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,134 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 385 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,542 field artillery and mortars, as well as 2,983 units of special military vehicles”.
Elsewhere, more than 260 Ukrainian soldiers left the Azovstal metallurgical plant and were taken to Russian-controlled territory last night. It is believed they will be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war.
Efforts to rescue the last remaining Ukrainian fighters holed up in the steelworks – located in the strategic port city of Mariupol – are said to be ongoing.
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And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested that he may block Finland’s and Sweden’s applications to join NATO after he accused the Nordic nations of harboring Kurdish militants whom he regards as “terrorists”.