Ukrainian forces appear to strike Russian ammunition depot
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Footage was released on the messaging service Telegram showing multiple Russian sites exploding after being hit by M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. The channel that released the footage, operating under the name uaonlii, reportedly obtained the videos from Russian occupiers and is believed to be wanted by Russia for the release of the videos. The precise locations of the attacks in Ukraine have not been disclosed to protect the identity of the channel operator.
In the first video, a field containing Russian munitions is captured exploding after being hit by one of the long-range missiles.
The site initially erupts before a second, piercing bang can be heard as the munitions detonate.
Sparks reminiscent of fireworks shoot out from all directions out of the heavy plume of smoke.
The cameraperson then drops to the ground as the sheer force of the explosion appears to knock them off their feet.
In a second video, the film is taken from within what appears to be a small hut a mile or so away from the explosion.
A thick cloud of white smoke can be seen drifting into the air, before a second explosion erupts within the smoke after the munitions catch alight.
Like the first video, the cameraperson appears to be knocked to the ground in spite of the considerable distance between the explosion and the camera.
The two videos will be unwelcome news for Vladimir Putin, who’s forces have suffered significant equipment losses at the hands of Ukrainians using Western-supplied weapons.
And the United States will send four more high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday, as part of the latest military package to help it defend itself against Russian forces.
Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu earlier this week ordered generals to prioritise destroying Ukraine’s long-range missiles and artillery after Western-supplied weapons were used to strike Russian supply lines.
HIMARS have a longer range than previously-supplied weapons and are more precise than the Soviet-era artillery that Ukraine has had in its arsenal.
Mr Austin said: “(We) will keep finding innovative ways to sustain our long-term support for the brave men and women of the Ukrainian armed forces and we will tailor our assistance to ensure that Ukraine has the technology, the ammunition and the sheer firepower to defend itself.”
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Ukraine says it has carried out successful strikes on 30 Russian logistics and ammunition hubs, using several multiple launch rocket systems recently supplied by the West.
In a press conference after the meeting, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff General Mark Milley said Ukraine had used HIMARS to hit Russian command and control nodes, logistic network and air defence sites within Ukraine.
General Milley added that about 200 Ukrainian forces had been trained on the HIMARS and none of the systems had been destroyed by Russian forces.
He warned an issue would be the rate of ammunition being used by Ukrainian forces, but said there would be no impact on the readiness of the United States in the next couple of months at the current rate.
The latest package would bring the total number of HIMARS the United States has provided to Ukraine to 16.
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