Russia Says Kyiv Abuses Civilians in Recaptured Areas; Hits Ukraine Frontlines in East

Russia has accused Ukraine of abusing civilians in regions Kyiv took back in the country's north-east in a watershed moment in its fightback against Moscow. Russia also said it is launching massive strikes against Ukrainian frontlines.

"Air, rocket and artillery forces are carrying out massive strikes on units of the Ukrainian armed forces in all operational directions ...," the Russian defense ministry said, according to Agence France-Presse. The Russian MoD also said high-precision strikes were carried out around Sloviansk and Konstantinovka in the eastern Donetsk region, targeting Ukraine soldiers.

Ukraine wins battle of Kharkiv
Ukraine wins battle of Kharkiv Twitter

Reports from the Kharkiv region said civilians were treated in an outrageous fashion, President Putin's spokesman said.

"There are a lot of punitive measures... people are being tortured, people are being mistreated and so on," Dmitry Peskov told journalists, AFP reported.

Kharkiv ambush
The Russian vehicle being ambushed in Kharkiv Twitter

The agency also reported that Ukrainian authorities said they found found four bodies of civilians with "signs of torture". The bodies were found in the eastern village of Zaliznychne, which was recaptured by the Ukrainian forces. The agency also reported that residents said Russian troops had killed villagers.

Russian vehicles ambushed
Screenshots of the two Russian military vehicles being ambushed in Mariupol and Kharkiv Twitter

Russia's debacle in the north-east was a big victory for Ukraine in the seven-month-long war. According to the Daily Mail, Kyiv's military success followed a sustained Ukrainian 'disinformation campaign' about a counter-offensive in the south. This had diverted Russian troops in that direction and left the north east region vulnerable to attacks. The Russian army was forced to withdraw its troops to prevent them being cornered by the surprise attack.