Ukrainian officials gave conflicting accounts of an attack on a Russian train

Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukraine’s regional defense force said on Wednesday its fighters had blown up an armored train carrying Russian soldiers, but an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky later said the attack was limited to railways near the train.

Reuters could not independently verify the defense force’s assertion posted on Facebook that it carried out the attack in the city of Melitopol in occupied southern Ukraine.

The city is located in the Zaporizhzhya region and in a belt of lands in southern Ukraine that was occupied by Russian forces after their invasion on February 24.

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The Defense Force – the reserve branch of the Ukrainian Armed Forces – said in an online post that explosives had gone off under a railway vehicle carrying military personnel. It did not explain the extent of the damage.

But several hours later, presidential advisor Oleksiy Aristovich gave a conflicting account, saying that Ukrainian forces had blown up the tracks before the train.

“It was received by the revolutionaries, although they did not blow up the armored train itself,” he said in a video clip posted on social media, saying that the Russians “got down lightly.”

Aristovich said the incident showed that the partisan movement was actively disrupting the Russian forces.

Ukrainian news reports say that the supporters were actively working in Melitopol. Russian forces detained the town’s mayor for several days in March before releasing him.

Additional reporting by Tom Palmforth and Ronald Popesky; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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