WAR IN UKRAINE: Russia Claims Images Show Artillery Systems In Action Taking Out Ukrainian Troops

Story By:  Ana MarjanovicSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency:  Newsflash

Russia has claimed that these images show its artillery systems in action and taking out Ukrainian troops.

The footage allegedly shows Russian artillery targeting Ukrainian forces before opening fire on them and quickly moving to new locations, presumably to avoid being hit by return fire.

The Russian MoD claimed in a statement obtained on Monday, 27th June (in English): “Akatsiya 152-mm self-propelled artillery system crews in combat action within offensive of Western MD [Military District] troops at AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] positions.”

The Western Military District is one of five military districts belonging to the Russian Armed Forces and is primarily focused on the western central region of European Russia.

The Russian MoD also claimed: “The Akatsiya system and Msta-B howitzer batteries have launched an attack at manpower and equipment concentration areas of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) from sheltered positions.

“Enemy’s convoy was detected by unmanned aerial vehicle crews.” (sic)

We have not been able to independently verify the Russian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) claims or the footage.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 124th day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 27th June, Russia had lost about 35,000 personnel, 1,552 tanks, 3,687 armoured combat vehicles, 771 artillery units, 243 multiple launch rocket systems, 101 air defence systems, 217 warplanes, 184 helicopters, 636 drones, 137 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,575 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 60 units of special equipment.

At least 14 missiles have hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, according to Ukrainian officials. The strikes come as G7 leaders meet in Bavaria, in Germany, for a three-day summit. Military support for Ukraine is at the top of the agenda. The G7 is made up of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Other missiles have reportedly hit the central city of Cherkasy, as well as the strategically vital port city of Odesa.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the G7 leaders and said that he wanted the war to end before the end of the year. He repeated his request for anti-aircraft defence systems, as well as further sanctions on Russia. He also repeated his request for help to export grain from Ukraine.

Russian troops have been accused of pillaging vast quantities of grain from farmers in occupied areas of Ukraine, as well as other crops including sunflower seeds. They have also been accused of stealing fertiliser and agricultural equipment.

The eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk is now in Russian hands after Ukrainian troops were ordered to retreat following weeks of siege.

The United Kingdom and the United States, as well as Japan and Canada, are set to ban imports of Russian gold. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the ban will “strike at the heart of Putin’s war machine”.

Last week, the European Union approved Ukraine’s application to become a candidate for admission to the bloc, which is currently made up of 27 countries. The decision was hailed in both Brussels and Kyiv as a “historic moment”, with President Zelenskyy saying that “Ukraine’s future is in the EU”.

Russian Foreign Ministry press secretary Maria Zakharova said that Moscow’s response to Lithuania banning the transit of goods, sanctioned by the EU, to Kaliningrad will not only be diplomatic but also practical. But Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte accused Russia of lying over the blockade, saying that people are still able to travel between Russia and Kaliningrad and that the blockade only affects 1 per cent of goods.

Russia conducted an anti-ship missile exercise in the Baltic Sea amid escalating tensions with NATO member Lithuania after the country blocked the transit of some goods to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.