THIS is the dramatic moment an entire unit of Vladimir Putin’s private army were wiped out in an ambush by Ukraine.
The soldiers from the so-called “Wagner Group” are pictured being blitzed by Ukrainian troops in the battle for Soledar.
Shock footage shows the mercenaries attempting to hunker for cover as Ukrainians use a drone to scout their positions.
Machine gun fire rains down upon them as they attempt to hide as they move through a rail yard.
Explosions them erupt as the unit is “wiped out” during the brutal battle.
The combat footage is believed to be from earlier this month as the Russians launched their attack on the salt mining town.
It comes as more than 100 soldiers were reportedly killed in a single Ukrainian missile strike in Soledar.
Both sides are claiming victory in the regime which is one of the most brutal parts of the frontline.
Aerial photos show the town has been utterly devastated amid the fighting
The Wagner Group are a key part of the offensive – with the private mercenary company essentially being Putin’s personal military force.
The group are believed to have around 50,000 operators – and have been accused of torture and rape.
And in one of their most brutal crimes, they are alleged to have beaten a Russian defector to death with a sledgehammer.
It is financed by Yevgeny Prigozhin.
He is a corrupt oligarch known as “Putin’s chef” as his restaurants are often frequented by Vlad.
Ukraine’s deputy defence minister said Kyiv’s forces were still holding out in Soledar despite a massive Russian onslaught.
If Russia captures the town, it would be the most substantial gain since a series of humiliating retreats throughout much of the second half of last year.
Britain said Russia had most likely seized most of Soledar as it tries to take control of the nearby city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said the situation in Soledar was “approaching that of critical”.
He said on YouTube: “The Ukrainian armed forces are holding their positions. About one half of the town is under our control.
“Fierce fighting is going on near the town centre.”
The four commandos executed the operation with the help of a night drone and the commander of Ukraine’s special tactical group “Adam”.
The Ukrainian forces reportedly wiped out 15 Russian soldiers and another six were captured.
Meanwhile, a Royal Navy warship has intercepted a Russian warship carrying Putin’s new “unstoppable” 7,000mph hypersonic missiles.
HMS Portland tracked the guided missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov as it sailed close to the UK in the North Sea.
The Type-23 frigate shadowed Vladimir Putin’s warship that set sail with much fanfare for a mission to the Atlantic.
Admiral Gorshkov – which weights up to 5,400 tons and is 442ft long – has carried out war games while heading for the UK.
Zircon missiles she is carrying on board have not yet been used in combat and they are one of Putin’s “super weapons”.