Longtime Putin Associate Viktor Cherkesov Dies At 72

Longtime Putin Associate Viktor Cherkesov Dies At 72

Updated: 2 months, 29 days, 5 hours, 21 minutes, 50 seconds ago

Russia has launched multiple suicide drones on Ukraine's southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region, wounding people and damaging civilian facilities, the head of the regional military administration said, as fierce battles are under way in the eastern Donetsk region and in the south.

"The occupiers attacked the area massively with kamikaze drones. Our air defense destroyed five barrage ammunition. They also attacked with drones the city of Dnipro, targeting a logistics enterprise. Four employees were wounded, three of them are in serious condition in hospital," Governor Valentyn Reznichenko said.

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Russian forces also bombarded the Nikopol district in the region with Grad missiles and heavy artillery. Reznichenko said the shelling damaged private houses, a factory, and a power line, but no one was injured.

A fire spread over more than 3,000 square meters, but it had already been extinguished, Reznichenko said.

Russian troops regularly shell the Dnipropetrovsk region with various types of weapons, in particular the Nikopol, Kryvorizky, and Synelnyk districts.

In Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed that Ukraine will not "surrender a single centimeter of our land" in Donetsk, where heavy fighting has been under way, and he thanked Ukrainian troops who are holding positions in the Donbas region.

The epicenter of the battle for the industrial region of Donetsk is around the towns of Bakhmut, Soledar, and Avdiyivka.

"The activity of the occupiers remains at an extremely high level -- dozens of attacks every day," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address late on November 8.

"They are suffering extraordinarily high losses. But the order remains the same -- to advance on the administrative boundary of Donetsk region. We will not yield a single centimeter of our land," he said.

Donetsk is one of four Ukrainian regions Russia said it annexed in September following referendums considered a sham by Kyiv and its Western allies.

Fighting had been going on there between Ukrainian military and Kremlin-backed separatist forces since 2014, the same year Russia illegally annexed Crimea in the south.

Zelenskiy said the goal of the Russian troops is to push to the administrative border of the Donetsk region.

"We clearly understand the enemy's plans, so we act accordingly. Carefully, thoughtfully, and in the interests of the liberation of our entire territory. We are strengthening our positions, breaking Russian logistics, consistently destroying the potential of the occupiers to keep the south of our country under occupation," Zelenskiy added.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said the most intense battles were taking place in Bakhmut and Soledar in the Donetsk region, where the Ukrainian military repels dozens of Russian attacks per day.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the region's military administration, said the city of Bakhmut was very badly damaged, and there is not a single surviving house in Avdiyivka, Maryinka, or Krasnohorivka. Russian troops are trying to wipe the cities "off the face of the Earth," he said.

Fierce fighting was also going on on the edge of the town of Snihurivka, in the southern Mykolaiyv region, according to Yury Barabashov, the town's Russian-appointed mayor, as cited by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-installed administration in the southern Kherson region, said on Telegram that Ukrainian forces had tried to advance on three fronts, including Snihurivka.

Vitaly Kim, the Ukrainian governor of the Mykolayiv region, apparently quoting an intercepted dialogue between Russian troops, suggested that Ukrainian forces had already pushed the Russians out of the area.

"Russian troops are complaining that they have already been thrown out of there," Kim said in a statement on his Telegram channel.

The information could not be independently verified.

The Ukrainian military said it destroyed two Russian ammunition depots in southern Ukraine on November 8, one in Snihurivka, and one in Kostromka, in the neighboring Kherson region.

WATCH: Paratroopers with Ukraine's 79th Air Assault Brigade say they're holding positions around the small city of Maryinka in eastern Ukraine despite daily Russian attacks.

Russia has mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists in recent months seeking to stave off an offensive launched by Ukraine to regain Russian-occupied territories.

Kyiv-based military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said on November 8 that 21 Russian conscripts had surrendered to Ukrainian forces around Svatove in the eastern Luhansk region.

"These poor mobilized men -- really poor, they had had nothing to eat or drink in three days -- of course they decided to surrender," Zhdanov said on his YouTube channel.

In the southern Kherson region, a battle between advancing Ukrainian forces and the Russian occupiers has been looming for weeks in the city by the same name, the only regional capital Russia has captured intact since its unprovoked invasion in February.

Kherson is arguably the most important of the four partially occupied Ukrainian regions that Russia says it annexed. It controls both the only land route to the Crimean Peninsula and the mouth of the Dnieper River that bisects Ukraine.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, also commented on the fighting in eastern Ukraine on November 8. He was quoted by TASS as saying that information released about casualties among Chechen fighters near Lysychansk, a city in the eastern Luhansk region, was false.

"Not a single fighter of ours was killed in the aforementioned area," Kadyrov wrote on his Telegram channel, adding that he didn't want to comment on "such falsehoods" but found it necessary "to reassure all sane and concerned people."

Russia's Defense Ministry, meanwhile, released video footage that it said showed a drone strike obliterating a Ukrainian tank that was hiding in an urban area and shelling Russian troops.

"A Russian squad of unmanned aerial vehicles spotted the Ukrainian tank and destroyed it using a precision strike," the ministry said on November 8, according to TASS.

The Ukrainian military's General Staff said Russian troops used drones and artillery on November 8 to shell communities along the Sumy region's border with Russia in northeastern Ukraine. The only damage reported was to utility poles.

Sumy borders three regions of Russia -- Bryansk, Kursk, and Belgorod. The border regions of Ukraine are regularly shelled by Russia.

Neither side's battlefield claims could be independently verified.

The Ukrainian military has accused Russian troops of more looting and destroying infrastructure in Kherson.

"A convoy of trucks passed over the dam of the Kakhova hydroelectric station loaded with home appliances and building materials," the military said.

Russians were dismantling mobile phone towers and taking equipment, it said, adding that near the city of Beryslav, Russian forces "blew up a power line and took equipment from a solar power station."

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and CNN