These images show Russian recruits training to assemble and detonate explosives.
The Russian soldiers can be seen putting together explosive devices, inserting what appear to be detonators into plastic explosives before blowing them up.
The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday, 15th March, along with a statement claiming: “The undermining of objects of a mock enemy was worked out during a tactical-special lesson in mine-explosive business by the military personnel of the training centre (training of junior intelligence specialists) of the Novosibirsk Higher Military Command School (NVVKU) at the Koltsovo training ground in the Novosibirsk region.”
The Russian MoD added: “During the combat training event, the military personnel carried out engineering reconnaissance and, having carried out calculations for laying explosives, made live charges and blew up objects used by a mock enemy.
“Before practical exercises, scouts completed a theoretical training course, where they studied the classification, composition and characteristics of various explosives, as well as the methodology for calculating the required amount of explosives to undermine wooden, concrete and reinforced concrete structures for various purposes, passed tests on the safety requirement when working with explosives.”
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 386th day of the full-scale war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 16th March 2023, Russia had lost about 162,560 personnel, 3,504 tanks, 6,810 armoured combat vehicles, 2,539 artillery units, 503 multiple launch rocket systems, 265 air defence systems, 305 warplanes, 289 helicopters, 2,145 drones, 907 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,394 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 257 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Russia has said that it will attempt to retrieve the wreckage of a US military drone that crashed into the Black Sea after an encounter with two Russian fighter jets.
The US has said that the debris could be in waters so deep that any recovery would be impossible.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin held a rare phone call on Wednesday to discuss the incident.
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, said that the incident was “being investigated”, while the UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said Russia had acted “unprofessionally”.
Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian president’s office, said that the country’s ground forces had shot down a Russian fighter jet near the eastern city of Bakhmut.
Russia’s Ministry of Defence will reportedly start a new recruitment campaign in April with the aim of enrolling 400,000 soldiers into the Russian army.
Turkish officials have reportedly said that their country’s parliament is “highly likely” to ratify Finland’s membership bid to join NATO before the middle of April.