Russia Said Attack Aviation Covered Marines Assaulting Ukrainian Positions In Vuhledar

Russia has said that attack aviation covered its Marines assaulting Ukrainian positions in Vuhledar.

The footage purports to show the Russian soldiers making their advance, with the images then cutting to Russian attack aircraft opening fire on unseen positions.

The footage then cut back to the marines, who can be seen apparently engaging in a firefight in a forested area with unseen Ukrainian troops.

The footage then appears to show the Russian troops taking a trench which appears to contain the corpses of Ukrainian soldiers.

The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Friday, 17th March, along with a statement claiming: “Advance groups of assault detachments of the Marine Corps of the Pacific Fleet (Pacific Fleet) and motorised riflemen, with the support of attack aircraft, continue to advance in the Ugledar direction.”

The Russian MoD added: “After the strike by the crews of the Su-25 attack aircraft, the marines fought to occupy the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and immediately organise the defence.

The Russian MoD quoted the deputy commander of the motorised rifle unit with the call sign ‘Leshy’ as saying: “Our machine gunners fired back, covering our approach. We went in from the flanks, took the defender and the prisoner. Our people are not afraid of anything.”

The Russian MoD added: “The commanders of the assault units transmit new coordinates to aviation. There are several more enemy strongholds ahead, and after their capture, decisive battles for the complete liberation of Ugledar.”

Picture shows Russian infantry group on a military vehicle in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine in undated footage. The footage was released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Friday, Mar. 17, 2023. (

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 387th day of the full-scale war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 17th March 2023, Russia had lost about 163,320 personnel, 3,506 tanks, 6,823 armoured combat vehicles, 2,552 artillery units, 504 multiple launch rocket systems, 265 air defence systems, 305 warplanes, 290 helicopters, 2,145 drones, 907 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,401 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 258 units of special equipment.

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

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has said that his country is sending four MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, adding that “the rest are being prepared, serviced”.

The move makes Poland the first country to provide Ukraine with fighter jets since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.

The White House has said that Poland’s move was a “sovereign decision” and would not cause US President Joe Biden to provide Ukraine with American F-16 fighter jets.

Russian attack aviation fires rockets at Ukrainian positions in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine in undated footage. The footage was released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Friday, Mar. 17, 2023. (

White House spokesperson John Kirby said that Poland’s move “doesn’t change our calculus with respect to F-16s”.

Poland has said that it has detained nine Russian spies on its territory who were gathering intelligence on weapons supplies to Ukraine and making plans to sabotage deliveries.

Six of the alleged Russian spies have already been charged and charges are being prepared for the three others.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has released a report backed by the United Nations that states that Russia has committed a wide range of war crimes in Ukraine including systematic torture, wilful killings and deporting children.

Russia has dismissed the report.

The Kremlin has said that China’s President Xi Jinping will be visiting Russia between 20th and 22nd March.

Moscow said: “During the talks, they will discuss topical issues of further development of comprehensive partnership relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.”

Russian infantry group assaults Ukrainian positions in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine in undated footage. The footage was released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Friday, Mar. 17, 2023. (

The Kremlin added that a “number of important bilateral documents will be signed.”

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, has said that he spoke with senior Chinese diplomat Qin Gang by phone and that they talk about the “significance of the principle of territorial integrity”.

Kuleba said: “I underscored the importance of [Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s] peace formula for ending the aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Qin told Kuleba that China “hopes that all parties will remain calm, rational and restrained, and resume peace talks as soon as possible.”

The Pentagon has released footage showing the encounter between a US Reaper drone and two Russian Su-27 fighter jets showing the planes approaching the drone very closely and releasing fuel in front of it.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said that the decision to retrieve the downed US Reaper drone from the Black Sea is up to the Russian military, saying: “If they deem it necessary to do that in the Black Sea for our interests and for our security, they will deal with that.”