Russian Commanders Striking Dams as They Become Increasingly Concerned—U.K.

Russian forces have attacked two dams in a bid to delay the advance of Ukrainian forces after becoming "increasingly concerned" by Kyiv's counteroffensive, according to U.K. defense officials.

In it's daily report the British Ministry of Defence said the Pechenihy dam in north-eastern Ukraine was struck twice, on September 21 and 22, as Ukrainian troops continue to attack after routing their Russian opponents around Kharkiv earlier this month.

Separately on September 15 the Karachunivske dam was reportedly hit in central Ukraine as Russia attempts to hold the city of Kherson just north of the Dnipro River.

The U.K. briefing said: "On 21 and 22 September 2022, Russia struck the Pechenihy dam on the Siverskyy Donets River using short range ballistic missiles or similar weapons. This follows a strike on the Karachunivske Dam near Krivyy Rih in central Ukraine on 15 September 2022.

"Ukrainian forces are advancing further downstream along both rivers. As Russian commanders become increasingly concerned about their operational set-backs, they are probably attempting to strike the sluice gates of dams, in order to flood Ukrainian military crossing points.

"The attacks are unlikely to have caused significant disruption to Ukrainian operations due to the distance between the damaged dams and the combat zones."

On Friday Ukraine claimed to have destroyed six Iranian supplied Shahed-136 drones.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry posted a video which it claimed showed one of the six drones being shot down, and accused Iran of supporting "Russian Nazism and the murder of peaceful citizens" by supplying its weapons.

Russian forces have attacked two Ukrainian dams
Ukrainian soldiers stand next to a BM-21 'Grad' multiple rocket launcher in eastern Ukraine on September 22, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian forces have hit two damns in a bid to stall the Ukrainian advance. JUAN BARRETO/AFP/GETTY

On Wednesday President Putin announced a partial Russian mobilization of troops, with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claiming the aim was to conscript 300,000 men with previous military experience.

Independent Russian-language outlet Meduza alleged Putin's real aim is to recruit 1.2 million additional soldiers, though this was denied by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

A number of videos posted on social media proport to show Russian conscripts getting drunk, arguing with their officers and in some cases even fighting.

The mobilization has sparked a debate within the EU about whether Russian deserters should be allowed into the bloc as asylum seekers.

On Friday Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said his country wouldn't be offering asylum, arguing Russians unhappy about the war should instead seek to bring down Putin.

He tweeted: "Lithuania will not be granting asylum to those who are simply running from responsibility. Russians should stay and fight. Against Putin."

However European Council President Charles Michel took a more liberal line, according to Politico.

Speaking in New York he said: "The European Union [should] host those who are in danger because of their political opinions. If in Russia people are in danger because of their political opinions, because they do not follow this crazy Kremlin decision to launch this war in Ukraine, we must take this into consideration."

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.