Russia has said that it has fired at Ukrainian military positions using Msta-S self-propelled artillery.
The footage purports to show a Russian soldier liaising with the artillery units, at least four of which can be seen in a field and opening fire simultaneously on unseen Ukrainian targets.
The images show the inside of one of the Russian war machines, with soldiers reloading before the Russian military vehicles can be seen opening fire again.
They can then be seen manoeuvring away to avoid return fire.
The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday, 21st March, along with a statement claiming: “The Russian Ministry of Defence published footage of the combat work of the crews of 2S-19 ‘Msta-S’ self-propelled artillery mounts of the Western Military District when performing fire missions in the zone of the special military operation.”
The Russian MoD added: “Artillery subunits of the ‘Western’ group of troops during the special military operation continue to carry out fire missions to destroy artillery batteries of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, destroy defensive structures, suppress command posts, and destroy enemy weapons and military equipment.
“Crews of ‘Msta-S’ 152-mm self-propelled howitzers fire at ranges up to 30 kilometres. Shooting can be carried out both from closed firing positions and direct fire without preliminary preparation of firing positions.
“In the course of performing combat missions, crews of ‘Msta-S’ 152-mm self-propelled howitzers use high-explosive, high-explosive fragmentation, as well as high-precision ammunition, which allows inflicting maximum damage to fortifications, deep concrete fortifications, armoured vehicles and enemy manpower.
“As part of the calculations, combat missions are also performed by military personnel called up from the reserve as part of partial mobilisation.”
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 391st day of the full-scale war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 21st March 2023, Russia had lost about 166,570 personnel, 3,552 tanks, 6,879 armoured combat vehicles, 2,586 artillery units, 507 multiple launch rocket systems, 270 air defence systems, 305 warplanes, 290 helicopters, 2,167 drones, 907 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,428 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 266 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence has said that cruise missiles set to be used by Russia’s fleet in the Black Sea have been destroyed after an explosion hit the city of Dzhankoi, in Russian-occupied Crimea.
The Ukrainian MoD said that “multiple” Kalibr missiles were destroyed while in transit by rail after being hit by the explosion, without explicitly claiming responsibility or saying how the shipment was destroyed.
Ihor Ivin, the Russia-installed administrator of Dzhankoi, said the area had come under attack from drones.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that their countries “share the same, or some similar goals”, according to the Russian state-owned news agency TASS.
Xi also reportedly said: “China and Russia are good neighbours and reliable partners.”
Putin reportedly told the Chinese leader that he welcomed China’s proposal to end the “acute crisis” in Ukraine.
Putin reportedly told Xi at the Kremlin: “You know that we are always ready for negotiating and we will discuss all those questions, including your suggestions.”
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, has criticised Xi for giving “diplomatic cover” to Russia as it continues to commit war crimes.
Blinken said that Xi’s visit to Russia “suggests that China feels no responsibility to hold the Kremlin accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine.”
The American diplomat also voiced scepticism regarding China’s “peace” proposals and warned that they might be a “stalling tactic” to help Russia cement its position on the ground in Ukraine.
Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, has said that any peace plan with Russia would necessitate the withdrawal of Moscow’s forces from all Ukrainian territory.
Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, is reportedly en route to Ukraine to meet Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russia’s notorious Wagner mercenary organisation, has reportedly written to Russia’s Minister of Defence, Sergei Shoigu, warning that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing for a “large-scale attack” geared towards cutting his forces off from the rest of Russia’s soldiers in eastern Ukraine.
Karim Khan, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, has said that the world needs to “have the stamina” to enforce international law and bring those accused of war crimes in Ukraine to justice.
European Union ministers have agreed to supply Ukraine with one million rounds of shells to boost the country’s defences against Russian aggression.
Details are still reportedly being fine-tuned by EU foreign and defence ministers regarding the EUR 1 billion plan, in which approximately 15 countries are expected to take part, for the joint procurement of ammunition to Kyiv.
Blinken has announced that the United States will send a further USD 350 million in weaponry and ammunition to Ukraine, including a large quantity of HIMARS rockets.
Norway’s Armed Forces have said that they have delivered eight Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.