Pro-Russian DPR Says It Has Hit Ukrainian Strongholds With Artillery

The pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic has said that it has hit Ukrainian strongholds of artillery.

The footage appears to show a DPR piece of artillery being loaded with ordnance and opening fire.

The images then appear to show the Ukrainian positions being hit on the battlefield.

The images were obtained from the People’s militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Wednesday, 1st February, along with a statement claiming: “The artillery of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Donetsk Army Corps inflicts fire damage on the enemy, destroying the fortified areas of Ukrainian nationalists, allowing our troops to develop the offensive.

“Firing was conducted from 152mm D-20 guns.”

We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February 2022 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 343rd day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 1st February 2023, Russia had lost about 128,420 personnel, 3,209 tanks, 6,382 armoured combat vehicles, 2,207 artillery units, 458 multiple launch rocket systems, 221 air defence systems, 293 warplanes, 284 helicopters, 1,951 drones, 796 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,061 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 200 units of special equipment.

DPR artillery fire at the Ukrainian military positions in Ukraine in undated footage. The footage released by the People’s Militia of the DPR on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (@nm_dnr/Newsflash)

Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.

The UK has said that it is not practical to provide Ukraine with fighter jets. A Downing Street spokesperson said: “These are sophisticated pieces of equipment.”

They added: “We do not think it is practical to send those jets into Ukraine.”

But they also said that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is in favour of accelerating support for Ukraine and that a “prolonged stalemate” would benefit Moscow.

A senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Andriy Yermak, has suggested that Poland may be willing to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.

Yermak said that Ukraine had received “positive signals” from Poland, but Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, stressed he would only act in consultation with other NATO members.

Ukraine has said that it will continue lobbying for warplanes, arguing that the West had repeatedly refused to supply it with times before finally agreeing to do so.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said on a visit to Paris: “All types of assistance at the beginning went through the no stage. This means no as of today.”

Sebastien Lecornu, Reznikov’s opposite number in France, said there was “no taboo” about supplying Ukraine with jets.

Lecornu also reportedly said that they were discussing training Ukrainian pilots to fly French fighter planes.

DPR artillery fire at the Ukrainian military positions in Ukraine in undated footage. The footage released by the People’s Militia of the DPR on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023. (@nm_dnr/Newsflash)

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said that his country is expecting to receive a “first wave” of between 120 and 140 tanks from 12 countries.

These will reportedly include German Leopard 2, British Challenger 2 and US M1 Abrams tanks.

Kuleba said that he was also “really counting” on an agreement being reached for France to supply Ukraine with its Leclerc tanks.

The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, has said that Moscow is “preparing for an imminent offensive”.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that there are currently “no signs” that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “preparing for peace”.