So-Called DPR Says Russian Aircraft Hit Ukrainian Military Positions Near Avdiivka

The so-called Donetsk People’s Republic has said that Russian aircraft have hit Ukrainian military positions near Avdiivka.

The footage purports to show Russian fighter jets hitting Ukrainian positions on the battlefield.

The footage begins showing a jet firing missiles at unseen targets before deploying flares and taking a base of action.

The images then appear to show areas where the missiles hit on the ground.

A Russian helicopter can then apparently be seen flying low before firing rockets at unseen targets.

It can then also be seen deploying flares and taking a base of action.

The images were obtained from the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Friday, 24th March, along with a statement claiming: “The work of aviation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the Avdiivka area.”

The DPR added: “Crews of combat aircraft and helicopters of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation strike at targets in Avdiivka and neighbouring settlements. Both unguided rockets and high-precision weapons were used.”

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 394th day of the full-scale war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 24th March 2023, Russia had lost about 169,170 personnel, 3,574 tanks, 6,921 armoured combat vehicles, 2,616 artillery units, 511 multiple launch rocket systems, 276 air defence systems, 305 warplanes, 290 helicopters, 2,208 drones, 911 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,464 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 277 units of special equipment.

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

Russian aviation hits Ukrainian military positions in Avdiivka in Ukraine in undated footage. The footage was released by the People’s Militia of the DPR on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023. (@nm_dnr/Newsflash)

Speaking to the European Union on Thursday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky again asked for additional long-range weapons from his Western allies.

EU leaders also approved a plan, which had been previously agreed by foreign ministers earlier this week, to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells over the next year.

Zelensky has visited the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, vowing to rebuild following Russia’s invasion.

General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has said: “The aggressor does not give up hope of taking Bakhmut at any cost, despite the losses in manpower and equipment.”

Syrskyi added that Russia is losing “considerable strength” and that “very soon we will take advantage of this opportunity, as we once did near Kyiv, Kharkiv, Balakliia and Kupiansk”.

These are all areas that Ukraine has liberated from Russian occupation since the beginning of Moscow’s full-scale invasion.

Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the EU Commission, has said that the EU will work to find some 16,200 Ukrainian children who have been deported to Russia.

She said that only 300 children had been returned to Ukraine so far, calling it a reminder of “the darkest times in our history”.

The Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, has said that Russia’s relations with the West are at an all-time low, adding that the threat of nuclear conflict “has grown”.

He added: “Every day when they provide Ukraine with foreign weapons brings the nuclear apocalypse closer.”

He also said that any attempt made to arrest Russia’s President Vladimir Putin would constitute a declaration of war against Russia.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said that he would not arrest Putin if he entered the country.

Sauli Niinisto, the President of Finland, has signed legislation to make his country a member of NATO.