So-Called DPR Says It Destroyed Ukrainian Fortified Position Using Self-Propelled Heavy Mortar Near Avdiivka

The so-called Donetsk People’s Republic has said that it has destroyed a Ukrainian fortified position using a self-propelled heavy mortar near Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

The footage purports to show the pro-Russian heavy mortar opening fire on and hitting the Ukrainian fortified position.

The images were obtained from the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Wednesday, 30th November, along with a statement saying: “240-mm 2S4 ‘Tulip’ self-propelled mortars from the 1st Army Corps wiped out the strongholds of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Avdiivka area.”

“To destroy the fortified points of the enemy in the Avdeevka direction, the most powerful artillery systems are involved – 240-mm 2S4 ‘Tulip’ self-propelled mortars, which will destroy even heavily fortified targets.”

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

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 280th day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 30th November, Russia had lost about 88,880 personnel, 2,914 tanks, 5,872 armoured combat vehicles, 1,902 artillery units, 395 multiple launch rocket systems, 210 air defence systems, 280 warplanes, 261 helicopters, 1,562 drones, 531 cruise missiles, 16 warships, 4,429 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 163 units of special equipment.

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

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has renewed his pledge that Ukraine will eventually become a member of the world’s biggest security alliance.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called NATO a “criminal entity” and warned the Alliance against providing Ukraine with Patriot missile defence systems.

Medvedev said added: “If, as Stoltenberg hinted, NATO were to supply the Ukrainian fanatics with Patriot systems along with NATO personnel, they would immediately become a legitimate target of our armed forces.”

Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrenergo, has said that it is still struggling to restore power a week after Russian missile strikes hit power facilities across the country.

Artur Lorkowski, the director of Energy Community, an international organisation made up of the European Union and a number of non-EU countries, which are coordinating an emergency response to get Ukraine the spare parts it needs to survive the winter, has said that the energy situation in Ukraine is critical.

Lorkowski added: “They have some equipment which they stored before the war, but this storage is running out. The stored equipment will not to be enough continue the repair activities.”

Ukraine is reportedly in dire need of spare parts, with Russia targeting the country’s substations, in an attempt to fragment its grid “into small isolated units”.

Lorkowski said that transformers are the “top priority”, which are used in substations and “are being intensively targeted by Russia” to render the network incapable of transmitting “the output of [electricity] generation units for Ukraine.”

Roman Starovoyt, the Governor of the Kursk region in Russia has said that a power plant in Kursk was hit on Tuesday in multiple attacks that caused electricity outages

Starovoyt said: “In total, there were about 11 launches. A power plant was hit.”

Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attacks.

China’s President Xi Jinping has said that he is ready to “forge a closer partnership” with Russia to “maintain international energy security”.

Xi said: “China is willing to work with Russia to forge a closer energy partnership, promote clean and green energy development and jointly maintain international energy security and the stability of industry supply chains.”

Germany’s Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann has said that his country contributed to the outbreak of Russia’s war in Ukraine by “adhering” to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite Russia annexing Crimea in 2014.

Buschmann added that Russian missile strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure were a “terrible war crime”.

He said he was “certain that at the end, we will see war crimes cases at the international criminal court against senior Russian leadership.”