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Russia has launched several suicide drones at Dnipropetrovsk region in southeastern Ukraine, injuring people and damaging civilian facilities, regional military administration chief says, as fierce battles unfold in the Donetsk region and in the south.
“Occupiers massively attacked the area with suicide drones,” Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said. Ukrainian air defense destroyed some of the drones, but others hit targets. Russian forces also used drones in an attack on the city of Dnipro, targeting a logistics company. Reznichenko said four employees were injured, and three of them are in serious condition in hospital.
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Russian forces also shelled the Nikopol district in the area with Grad missiles and heavy artillery. Reznichenko said the shelling damaged private homes, a factory and a power line, but no one was hurt.
A fire spread over more than 3,000 square meters but was extinguished, Reznichenko said.
Russian troops regularly bombard the Dnipropetrovsk region with various types of weapons, especially the districts of Nikopol, Kryvorizky and Synelnyk.
In Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy promised that Ukraine “will not return a single centimeter of our land” to Donetsk, and he thanked the Ukrainian troops occupying positions in the Donbass region.
The epicenter of the battle for the industrial region of Donetsk is around the towns of Bakhmut, Soledar and Avdiyivka.
“Occupant activity remains at an extremely high level – dozens of attacks every day,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address Nov. 8.
“They suffer extraordinarily high losses. But the order remains the same: to advance on the administrative border of the Donetsk region. We will not give up a single centimeter of our land,” he said.
Donetsk is one of four Ukrainian regions that Russia said it annexed in September following referendums seen as a sham by Kyiv and its Western allies.
Fighting has been taking place there between the Ukrainian military and Kremlin-backed separatist forces since 2014, the same year Russia illegally annexed Crimea in the south.
Zelenskiy said that the objective of the Russian troops was to push to the administrative border of the Donetsk region.
“We clearly understand the enemy’s plans, so we act accordingly: carefully, thoughtfully and in the interest of liberating our entire territory. We are reinforcing our positions, breaking Russian logistics and constantly destroying the potential of the occupiers to keep the south of our country under occupation,” Zelenskiy added.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the most intense battles were taking place in Bakhmut and Soledar, where the Ukrainian military fends off dozens of Russian attacks a day.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the region’s military administration, said the town of Bakhmut was badly damaged and there is not a single surviving house in Avdiyivka, Maryinka or Krasnohorivka. Russian troops are trying to wipe cities “off the face of the Earth”, he said.
Fierce fighting was also taking place on the outskirts of the town of Snihurivka, in the southern region of Mykolaiv, according to Yury Barabashov, the Russian mayor of the town, quoted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-installed administration in the southern Kherson region, said on Telegram that Ukrainian forces tried to advance on three fronts, including Snihurivka.
Vitaly Kim, the Ukrainian governor of the Mykolaiv region, apparently citing an intercepted dialogue between Russian troops, suggested that Ukrainian forces had already pushed the Russians out of the area.
“The Russian troops are complaining that they have already been driven out of there,” Kim said in a statement on his Telegram channel.
The information could not be independently verified.
The Ukrainian military said it destroyed two Russian ammunition depots in southern Ukraine on November 8, one in Snihurivka and one in Kostromka in the neighboring Kherson region.
WATCH: Paratroopers from Ukraine’s 79th Air Assault Brigade say they hold positions around the small town of Maryinka in eastern Ukraine despite daily Russian attacks.
Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists in recent months to try to avoid an offensive launched by Ukraine to regain Russian-occupied territories.
Kyiv-based military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said on Nov. 8 that 21 Russian conscripts had surrendered to Ukrainian forces around Svatove in the eastern Luhansk region.
“These poor mobilized men — really poor, they hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days — of course they decided to surrender,” Zhdanov said on his YouTube channel.
In the southern region of Kherson, a battle between advancing Ukrainian forces and Russian occupiers has been looming for weeks in the city of the same name, the only regional capital Russia has captured intact since its unprovoked invasion in February.
Kherson is arguably the most important of the four partially occupied Ukrainian regions that Russia says it has annexed. It controls both the only land route to the Crimean peninsula and the mouth of the Dnieper River which cuts Ukraine in two.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also commented on the fighting in eastern Ukraine on November 8. He was quoted by TASS as saying that published information about casualties among Chechen fighters near Lysychansk, a town in the eastern Luhansk region, was false.
“Not a single one of our fighters was killed in the aforementioned area,” Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel, adding that he did not want to comment on “such lies” but deemed it necessary “to reassure all sensible and concerned”.
The Russian Defense Ministry, meanwhile, released video footage it said showed a drone strike wiping out a Ukrainian tank that was hiding in an urban area and shelling Russian troops.
“A Russian squad of unmanned aerial vehicles spotted the Ukrainian tank and destroyed it with a precision strike,” the ministry said on November 8, according to TASS.
Ukrainian Army General Staff said Russian troops used drones and artillery on Nov. 8 to shell communities along the Sumy region’s border with Russia in northeastern Ukraine. The only damage reported was to the utility poles.
Sumy borders three regions of Russia: Bryansk, Kursk and Belgorod. The border regions of Ukraine are regularly bombed by Russia.
Neither side’s battlefield claims could be independently verified.
The Ukrainian army has accused Russian troops of looting and destroying more infrastructure in Kherson.
“A convoy of trucks passed over the Kakhova hydroelectric power station dam loaded with household appliances and building materials,” the army said.
Russians were dismantling mobile phone towers and taking away equipment, he said, adding that near the town of Beryslav Russian forces “blew up a power line and took equipment from a solar power station”. .