Watching a stay drone feed, it was attainable to make out three folks operating down a road in a frontline city in northeastern Ukraine.

“Are they Russians?” I requested a Ukrainian soldier, who was additionally on the bottom in Vovchansk and was displaying us the footage from a secret location as we spoke to him by way of video hyperlink from outdoors the city.

“Sure, sure,” stated Denys, 42, the commander of a reconnaissance unit.

“They arrive in teams like this of three to 5 troopers.”

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Different footage from Monday shared with Sky Information seemed to be of extra Russian troops contained in the city – simply three days after Russia launched a shock assault throughout its border into Ukraine’s Kharkiv area.

Sky Information has verified the situation of the photographs.

“They’re advancing in a residential space of Vovchansk and shifting into folks’s homes,” Denys stated.

“That is simply the primary wave… They’re testing our defences, they’re getting ready their artillery. Once they utterly enter the city, they will deliver of their reserves.”

Russian troops inside Vovchansk in northeastern Ukraine
Picture:
Drone footage shared completely with Sky Information by a Ukrainian soldier exhibits Russian troops inside Vovchansk in northeastern Ukraine

Russian troops inside the border town of Vovchansk in northeastern Ukraine
Picture:
Sky Information has verified the situation of the photographs

Denys was talking from a place the place he and his crew had been working their drone, looking for Russian targets for Ukrainian forces to strike.

Requested what their primary process was, he spun the digital camera he was chatting with us on round to let certainly one of his troopers – he described them as his “fellow hero brothers” – reply.

“We’ll struggle underneath these troublesome situations by no matter means,” stated the serviceman, referred to as Andrii.

“We merely don’t have any different selection as a result of behind us are our properties, our households, our youngsters.”

Russian forces have unleashed a ferocious barrage of fireplace in opposition to the city, utilizing a mix of airstrikes, gliding bombs, armed drones and heavy artillery.

One other feed, shared by Denys, captured apocalyptic scenes of smoke spiralling into the air from a number of affect websites throughout Vovchansk.

“The city was not ready for this bombardment,” he stated.

Drone footage shows the Russian assault on the border town of Vovchansk, Ukraine.
Picture:
Drone footage exhibits the Russian assault on Vovchansk

Requested how harmful it was for him and his crew, Denys panned round his makeshift base.

“If they aim us with a guided bomb… it will be a mass grave,” he stated, smiling.

Denys had been a senior police officer after which a lawyer earlier than Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Then, like many civilians, he volunteered to serve to defend his nation and has been preventing ever since.

However, in an uncommon transfer for a member of the army, Denys has publicly expressed frustration at what he believes was a failure by his personal aspect to make sure Ukraine’s northeastern border with Russia was higher defended by landmines and fortifications.

This was regardless of the Ukrainian army repelling an preliminary assault by Russia in opposition to the Kharkiv area within the first months of the struggle.

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Drone footage of Russian invasion

On Friday “we noticed the primary breaches of the state border line by enemy armoured automobiles – the preliminary rush,” he stated. “They handed with out encountering any mined positions.”

Explaining why he had chosen to talk out about his issues, he stated: “We’re preventing for freedom and fact. We defend our pursuits, the pursuits of our state, voluntarily. And we consider that this fact must be spoken.”

Having fought to defend Kharkiv as soon as already, Denys stated he and his crew now “really feel some deja vu”.

He added: “It is stunning. We’re having to defend ourselves once more – dropping territory and the lives of troopers.”

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He additionally stated, this time round, the Russians had been extra ready.

“The enemy ready their FPV [attack drone] forces,” he stated. “They loaded up with an unimaginable quantity of MLRS [multiple launch rocket systems] and artillery.”

In addition to capturing photos of Russian troops on the bottom, the drone footage additionally confirmed Ukraine preventing again.

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Russian forces bear down on Vovchansk

One clip was of what Denys stated was a gaggle of Russian troops on the sting of Vovchansk, carrying a wounded soldier on a stretcher.

His crew relayed the coordinates of the situation to a different unit. Moments later, what seems to be to be a Ukrainian strike chugs up smoke within the space of the Russian place.

Learn extra:
Russia ‘advancing from a number of positions’
Putin seizes probability to hit Kharkiv

As he ready to struggle into the evening, Denys had a message for Ukraine’s high commanders.

“Belief your troopers, your officers. Belief these on the bottom. Give them the chance, give them assist, give them the prospect to defend this land,” he stated.

“There are various folks right here who voluntarily got here to present their lives for this nation. The command ought to respect them, belief them, and permit them to do their job.”

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