Ukraine’s defense ministry has shared new footage appearing to show a Ukrainian HIMARS strike on Russian artillery in the country’s annexed eastern Donetsk region.
Four Russian self-propelled Msta howitzers were destroyed by a “perfect shot” from a Ukrainian-operated High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), the Ukrainian defense ministry said on Monday morning. The government department shared a clip that appears to be drone footage of strikes on Russian positions, showing soldiers fleeing after several explosions.
Ukraine has repeatedly shared footage of its forces using HIMARS to target Russian positions. Kyiv’s fighters have been using HIMARS since June 2022. The U.S. has supplied Ukraine with 38 HIMARS and ammunition to date, according to the U.S. Defense Department.
HIMARS and other artillery are high on Kyiv’s wish list of security assistance from its Western allies and effective use of artillery is key for Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive.
“Artillery has been hugely important in this war,” Davis Ellison, a strategic analyst with the Hague Center for Security Studies, told Newsweek earlier in August.
Kyiv hopes to push dug-in Russian troops back from front lines in southern and eastern Ukraine in its current offensive, now in its third month.
It is not clear which type of Msta gun the Ukrainian HIMARS targeted, but according to Dutch open-source intelligence outlet, Oryx, Russia has lost a total of 272 Msta variants since the outbreak of all-out war in Ukraine in February 2022.
On Sunday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said its air defenses had shot down eight HIMARS projectiles.
Ukrainian forces carried out counteroffensive operations on at least two parts of the front line on Sunday, according to the Institute for the Study of War think tank.
Fighting hot spots in latest assessments include around the settlement of Urozhaine, in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in Russian-annexed Zaporizhzhia, said early on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had advanced in part of the village.
“After two weeks of the most difficult and bloody battles for this settlement, the enemy managed to enter and gain a foothold in the northern part of Urozhaine,” Rogov wrote on Telegram. “Russian soldiers continue to hold positions in the southern part of this settlement.”
On Monday morning, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, said over the past week, Ukraine had “certain successes” in Urozhaine.
On Sunday, Moscow said that its forces had struck Ukrainian units close to the village.
In an operational update on Monday morning, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said Russian troops had launched “several waves” of Kalibr cruise missile and drone strikes at Ukraine overnight. The unmanned aerial vehicles were launched from Russia’s Krasnodar region, and the Kalibr missiles from the Black Sea, the General Staff said.
Ukrainian air defenses shot down all 15 of the drones and the eight Kablir missiles, the Ukrainian military said.
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