Russian media has alleged Ukraine is using "black magic" to thwart President Vladimir Putin's invasion.

Citing cult researcher Ekaterina Dyce, Russian state-run media outlet RIA Novosti reported that Ukraine's armed forces in the eastern Donbas region allegedly practiced black magic.

The report said "signs" of black magic were found at the Ukrainian artillery headquarters on the outskirts of a village called Trekhizbenka in the Luhansk region. The outlet published images of what it called a "satanic seal" that was allegedly found on the walls of a military unit's headquarters.

Russian media is claiming “signs” of black magic were found at the Ukrainian artillery headquarters on the outskirts of a village called Trekhizbenka in the Luhansk region.Screengrab/RIA Novosti

Dyce claimed that the sign is a magical sigil (symbol) "consisting of many intersecting lines."

"What it means is difficult to say for sure, in it you can see both the inverted sign of anarchy and part of the sign "CC", rune zig, it is clearly visible in the far left sector of the circle, and the Hebrew letter "zayin" written in German, meaning sword or weapon," Dyce said.

The expert said that the symbol is a "magic seal of dark forces" that combines the ideas of anarchy, weapons and fascist symbols.

Dyce also said the symbol was drawn in one continuous hand movement, and that it points to its "occult nature."

Sputnik, a Kremlin-backed news agency, similarly reported that "traces of black magic rituals" had been discovered at an abandoned Ukrainian military headquarters in the Donbas. The outlet said "magic seal of dark forces" had been found on the wall, without elaborating.

RIA Novosti said in the building itself, a document containing information about losses in Donbas was found, covered in stripes of blood.

"There were blood stripes on the document, despite the fact that there were no such traces anywhere else," the report said.

It comes as the Russian advance continues to stall amid stiff Ukrainian resistance.

According to the state-run Vedomosti newspaper, Sergey Kiriyenko, a top Russian official, recently ordered regional governors not to promise a quick Russian victory or to encourage false expectations that Putin's offensive in Ukraine will soon be over.

More than two months since Putin ordered what he calls a "special military operation" in neighboring Ukraine, Russia increasingly appears to be suffering from supply shortages, faltering troop morale, and military losses.

In an intelligence update on Monday, the British defense ministry said it is likely that more than a quarter of Russia's battalion tactical groups assisting with the Ukraine war have been "rendered combat ineffective."

"Some of Russia's most elite units, including the VDV Airborne Forces, have suffered the highest levels of attrition," the update said. "It will probably take years for Russia to reconstitute these forces."

Newsweek has contacted Russian authorities for comment.