Zoe Strozewski


July 22, 2022

Ukrainian forces have destroyed a Russian artillery division that included howitzers, troops and other equipment, according to the Command of the Airborne Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Command made the announcement in a Facebook post Friday and shared a video that it said showed the division being decimated by the assault from Ukraine’s airborne and ground troops. The footage first focuses on what appears to be the Russian weapons and personnel partially concealed among trees and then shows various points of the area being engulfed in smoke as they are targeted in a series of strikes. Ukrainian forces reportedly took out eight 2A65 Msta-B howitzers, ammunition, automobile equipment and an undisclosed number of soldiers from the Russian division.

“Death to the Russian invaders! Together to victory! Glory to Ukraine!” the post read. It did not specify exactly where and when the division was purportedly destroyed, and what weapons Ukraine used in the strikes.

Newsweek was not able to independently verify Ukraine’s report on destroying the Russian artillery division. The defense ministries of Russia and Ukraine were contacted for confirmation and comment.

Russia has reportedly suffered several significant equipment losses in recent days as Ukraine continues its counteroffensive against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army. Ukraine’s Operational Command South said earlier this week that its missile and artillery units hit several Russian command points, control stations and logistic supply bases on July 19. Ukrainian airborne assault troops also recently took out a convoy of Russian ammunition vehicles, according to the Command of the Airborne Assault Troops.

There have been several indications that American-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) are having a particularly large impact on the war in Ukraine’s favor.

Last week, a senior U.S. Defense Department official told a background press briefing that the U.S. HIMARS are having a “significant impact on what’s going on, on the front lines” in Ukraine. This was reaffirmed in a press briefing by General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Wednesday.

Milley stressed that Ukrainians have been “effectively employing” the rocket launching systems, “with strikes against Russian command and control nodes, their logistical networks, their field artillery near defense sites and many other targets.”

Milley said that none of the U.S. HIMARS had been destroyed “to date,” something Russia has contradicted.

Russia, meanwhile, has continued to assert that it will emerge from the war victorious.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a press briefing Thursday that “all the goals of the special military operation will be fulfilled for certain.” She also said that what’s happening in Ukraine reaffirms the importance of Russia’s “denazification” effort in the country.