Day 847: Russian forces behead Ukrainian serviceman in Donetsk region

Ukraine destroys 19 out of 21 drones launched by Russia over six regions. Ukraine’s prosecuting authorities have identified a Ukrainian serviceman decapitated by Russian forces in Donetsk region. Putin and Kim Jong Un sign a new pact that includes a mutual defense pledge. 

Ukraine destroys 19 out of 21 drones launched by Russia over six regions

Overnight on Wednesday, Ukraine’s air defenses destroyed 19 out of 21 drones launched by Russia over six Ukrainian regions: those of Kherson, Mykolayiv, Dnipropetrovska, Kirovohradska, Khmelnytskyi, and Lviv. The drones flew from Primorsko-Akhtarsk in Russia and Cape Chauda in Crimea, Ukraine’s Air Force said.     

The Air Force repelled the attack with fighter jets, anti-aircraft missile systems, and jamming equipment. Mobile fire groups of Ukraine’s defense forces joined. 

Russian drone attacks on Wednesday damaged energy infrastructure in central Ukraine, the Ministry of Energy said.

“The enemy targeted an energy site in central Ukraine overnight. Some equipment was damaged. The emergency service and police were deployed to the site,” the ministry said in a statement.

Overhead power lines and electrical equipment were damaged by the attack in Lviv region where 285 consumers lost power. Repair works were underway. 

In Kyiv region, a high voltage power line was disconnected from the grid. It was put back into operation throughout the day.

In Poltava region, a number of households and municipal buildings lost power after equipment was disabled at one of the substations. Power was restored. 

In Volyn and Odesa regions, overhead power lines were briefly disabled. A number of households lost power. Power supply was restored. 

Ukraine’s prosecuting authorities identify Ukrainian serviceman decapitated by Russian forces in Donetsk region

A Ukrainian serviceman beheaded by Russian forces in Donetsk region has been identified, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin said on Wednesday. He did not name the victim, saying that identification procedures were still underway. 

The prosecution has also identified the Russian commanders who allegedly ordered to decapitate a Ukrainian soldier. The information is being verified, Kostin added. 

Another killing of a war prisoner “serves as further evidence that complete disregard for international law and basic human morals is the state policy of the terrorist state of Russia,” he said. “Every world leader who shakes hands with Putin must realize that he is shaking hands with a person who tolerates barbaric murders.” 

The Office of the Prosecutor General said on Tuesday that Russian forces in the Volnovakha district of Donetsk region had beheaded a Ukrainian serviceman. “While conducting aerial reconnaissance at one of the combat positions in Donetsk region, the Ukrainian military discovered a damaged armored vehicle of Ukraine’s defense forces. There was the severed head of a Ukrainian defender on top of it,” the Office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General posted on social media.

Kostin said they had received information that Russian commanders had ordered their subordinates not to take Ukrainian soldiers as prisoners but to kill them with inhumane cruelty—by decapitation.

In a statement, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets said such cruelty was Russia’s “intentional and purposeful” practice.

Putin, Kim Jong Un sign new pact that includes mutual defense pledge

Russian leader Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un signed a comprehensive strategic partnership pact that includes a pledge of mutual defense if either country is attacked.

In a press conference following the meeting, Putin said the agreement “includes the provision of mutual assistance in case of an aggression against one of the signatories.”

Putin said Western deliveries of advanced, long-range weaponry including F-16 fighters to Ukraine for strikes against Russia breached major agreements.

In an article published in North Korea state media ahead of the visit, Putin thanked Pyongyang for showing “unwavering support” for Russia’s war in Ukraine and said Russia was “ready to closely work together to bring more democracy and stability to international relations.”

Russian media said Kim Jong Un further promised “full support and solidarity with the Russian government, army and people in carrying out the special military operation in Ukraine.”

In March 2024, South Korean defense chief said North Korea had supplied 7,000 containers of munitions to Russia since last year.

North Korea’s munitions factories are “operating at full capacity” to produce weapons and shells for Russia, according to South Korea’s defense minister, Shin Won-sik.

The U.S. earlier said, supporting the claim with satellite imagery, that North Korea had delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions to Russia for its ongoing war in Ukraine.