Footage Shows Heavy Fighting on Front Lines in Eastern Ukraine

Footage purports to show heavy fighting on the front lines in eastern Ukraine, with pro-Russia separatists saying that Ukrainian attempts to break through their lines have so far failed.

The released video shows tanks sporting the white "Z" - synonymous with Russian and pro-Russian forces - on the move, and infantry apparently opening fire on unseen enemies with heavy machine guns.

The footage also appears to show a sniper wearing camouflage gear opening fire on unseen Ukrainian positions. Soldiers of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) can also be seen firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles.

Heavy fighting reported in Luhansk region
The released video shows tanks sporting the white "Z" - synonymous with Russian and pro-Russian forces - on the move in the Luhansk region. @millnr/Zenger

The images were obtained from the People's Militia of the pro-Russia breakaway region of Ukraine, who said that "an attempt to break through the lines of the People's militia of the Luhansk People's Republic failed."

A spokesperson for the LPR said: "The special operation in Donbas continues, Ukrainian servicemen are trying in every possible way to break through the fortified positions of our People's Militia fighters with the help of sabotage groups in the direction of Severodonetsk, we are convinced that all attempts made by Ukrainian nationalists are meaningless.

"Once again, the fighters of the People's Militia showed a worthy work against enemy military forces."

An unnamed LPR sniper also said: "Before the war, I was engaged in private business, but as soon as the mobilization took place, I immediately joined the ranks of the People's Militia. I did not hide, because if we all hide, they will come and strangle us, shoot us."

Zenger News has not been able to independently verify the footage or the claims.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a "special military operation." Tuesday marks the 118th day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 21, Russia had lost about 34,100 personnel, 1,496 tanks, 3,606 armored combat vehicles, 752 artillery units, 239 multiple launch rocket systems, 98 air defense systems, 216 warplanes, 181 helicopters, 611 drones, 137 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,537 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 59 units of special equipment.

Russia recently conducted an anti-ship missile exercise in the Baltic Sea amid escalating tensions with NATO member Lithuania after the latter country blocked the transit of goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Ukrainian forces have said that they have been successfully thwarting fresh Russian attempts to advance in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine.

And Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's deputy prime minister and minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, has urged locals in the Kherson region to evacuate the area so as to help Ukrainian forces "de-occupy" the area.

LPR troops fire on Ukraine targets
Footage from the People's Militia of the Luhansk People's Republic also appears to show a sniper wearing camouflage gear opening fire on unseen Ukrainian positions. Soldiers of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) can also be seen firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles. @millnr/Zenger

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Ukraine's southern frontlines as Ukrainian forces mount a counterattack in the region to push back Russian troops.

The new head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, has told British forces that they need to be ready to face Russia on the battlefield and said the British Army now needs to be capable of defeating Russia.

Zelensky said that a "historic week" has begun as Kyiv awaits a decision from Brussels regarding its EU candidate status. The European Parliament on June 8 adopted a resolution recommending that the European Union grant Ukraine the status of candidate country for EU membership. Some 438 Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of the resolution, with 65 voting against and 94 abstaining.

Zelensky, speaking to the African Union on Monday, also accused Russia of holding Africa "hostage" over grain and fertilizer shortages.

Independent Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize medal for $103.5 million, with all the proceeds going to help Ukrainian refugees.

Muratov, 60, is the editor-in-chief of Russian independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which he co-founded in 1993. The paper has regularly defied numerous threats and covered themes that make the Kremlin uneasy.

Novaya Gazeta has reported on Russian government corruption, human rights violations, and police violence as well as publishing articles that are critical of Putin.

Muratov has been a vocal advocate for the freedom of the press and argued that it needs to remain independent from government influence.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.