Ukrainian HIMARS rocket artillery takes out the Russian drone team

Ukraine’s armed forces have released a video of Kyiv’s Special Operations Forces purportedly taking out a Russian drone crew using a U.S.-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The video, shared to Telegram, shows aerial footage of what Ukraine claims is a Russian “BPAK” ZALA crew, or an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) unit. The Moscow soldiers in the video are shown retrieving a drone from a wide-open area and moving indoors to a small structure. Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces said that the unit was found while their forces conducted “reconnaissance operations in the southern direction.”

“Our soldiers conducted observations, and then adjusted the fire of the HIMARS jet installation according to the enemy’s calculations,” read the Telegram post. “One hit— and the occupiers have reduced UAVs.”

The 30-second video also shows the moment the small structure is hit with a HIMARS, erupting into flames. As smoke starts to billow out of the area, two individuals—presumably Russian soldiers—are seen fleeing on foot.

It is unclear where the Russian ZALA unit in the video was stationed, but Ukraine has focused on reclaiming Moscow-occupied territory in the southern and eastern directions since launching its counteroffensive in June. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Sunday that Ukraine made marginal advances south of the city of Bakhmut and toward the village of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region, citing geolocated footage.

HIMARS systems have allowed Kyiv’s military to extend its striking capabilities against Russian bridges and supply and ammunition depots since first arriving in Ukraine in June 2022. The Pentagon has since kept a steady stream of ammunition for the rocket launchers, including additional artillery in its latest $200 million aid package for Ukraine announced last week.

Videos circulated online have shown a piece of the HIMARS’ impact since the launch of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. Earlier this month, pro-Ukrainian account WarTranslated on X, formerly Twitter, shared a video of what it claimed was a Ukrainian HIMARS striking a Russian Giatsint-S artillery system in Ukraine’s Luhansk region.

A Russian soldier also shared the aftermath of a Ukrainian rocket strike on two Russian 2S9 Nona-S self-propelled guns reportedly destroyed in the Donetsk region in late September. The video, shared to X by Ukrainian internal affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko, shows the self-propelled guns burnt to a crisp.

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