Russia-Ukraine war: Ukrainian special forces soldiers die in Kherson assault

Russia claims its forces have re-entered the village of Robotyne, which Ukraine retook in August 2023

Several members of Ukrainian special forces have died in an assault on the Tendra Spit in Kherson oblast, according to reports.

Ukraine’s special operations forces confirmed the deaths at the Black Sea sandbar, suggesting those who died had stayed behind to ensure the main contingent escaped.

Russia claimed on Thursday that its forces had re-entered the village of Robotyne, which Ukraine retook from the occupiers in August 2023.

Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency cited the defence ministry saying troops had taken over some buildings but it was unclear whether Ukrainian troops had completely withdrawn. There was no confirmation from reliable sources.


Robotyne lies between Avdiivka and Kherson, and southeast of Zaporizhzhia, on the frontline in Zaporizhzhia oblast.

Ukrainian forces have pushed back Russian troops from the village of Orlivka, west of Avdiivka, but the situation on the eastern front remains difficult, Ukrainian army chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said on Thursday.

Russian forces last week captured the strategic eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka after a months-long assault and are pressing on several other areas along the frontline, Ukrainian authorities said.

Ukraine’s military said this week it had withdrawn from two more villages near Avdiivka, losing more territory as support from its western allies runs short.

Ukraine’s forces shot down 10 Russian aircraft in as many days with the latest being two Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers on February 27th, according to the Ukrainian general staff.

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s foreign ministry on Wednesday cautioned against any meddling from Russia in Moldova’s neighbouring breakaway region of Transnistria, whose separatist leaders have supposedly appealed to Moscow for “protection” – a ploy that has previously been instigated by Russia to justify invading other countries.

Moldova’s government has called the Transnistrian separatists’ request a propaganda event. Transnistria is a primarily Russian-speaking region that is legally part of Moldova.

In February 2022 leading up to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian-backed militants in Ukraine also asked for Moscow’s “protection”.

Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, said his government was considering a “temporary” closure of the border with Ukraine for goods, amid tensions over low-priced Ukrainian grain.

However, Oleksandr Kubrakov, Ukrainian deputy PM, said: “Ukraine is not going to close its borders with Poland. No one from the Ukrainian side is negotiating about this. Our people are fighting for their existence in a war with the Russian aggressor. For us, a stable border is a matter of survival.”

Ukraine plans to export a high volume of electricity on Thursday, taking advantage of lower domestic consumption during a spell of mild weather, the energy ministry said.

The country’s electricity exports, which began shortly before it was invaded by Russian troops in 2022, were halted after numerous Russian attacks on power infrastructure and the seizure of the largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia.

However, Ukraine has exported significant volumes of power to eastern Europe this month. – Guardian