WAR IN UKRAINE: Russians Wipe Out Ukrainian Positions In Howitzer Strikes

This video purports to show Russian howitzers turning Ukrainian military vehicles, positions and command posts into plumes of smoke.

The slickly-produced footage depicts an idealised version of Russian military operations in Ukraine as Russian troop losses allegedly soar above 28,000.

Newsflash obtained the video from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Russian Federation earlier today (Wednesday, 18th May).

The combat work of the crews of the 152-mm self-propelled howitzers Msta-S and Acacia-M, of the Russian Army, in May, 2022, in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Newsflash)

The Russian MoD said (in English): “152mm Msta-S and Acacia-M self-propelled howitzers in action to destroy armoured vehicles, fortified positions and command posts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces”.

The footage opens with a plethora of Russian weaponry being discharged and ends with aerial footage of plumes of smoke rising from fields in Ukraine.

Both howitzers described by the Russian MoD – which did not specify where in Ukraine the footage was filmed – were developed in the Soviet Union.

The combat work of the crews of the 152-mm self-propelled howitzers Msta-S and Acacia-M, of the Russian Army, in May, 2022, in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Newsflash)

In its latest briefing (earlier today), the Russian MoD said Ukraine had lost 172 aircraft, 125 helicopters, 927 unmanned aerial vehicles, 311 anti-aircraft systems, 3,139 tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, 389 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,548 artillery systems and mortars, and 2,997 units of special military vehicles.

And the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) gave corresponding figures for Russian losses over the same period as 1,235 tanks, 3,009 armoured fighting vehicles, 586 artillery systems, 199 multiple launch rocket systems, 91 anti-aircraft systems, 202 aircraft, 167 helicopters, 2,137 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 vessels, 441 unmanned aerial vehicles, 43 units of special equipment units, and 102 cruise missiles.

The AFU General Staff added that Russia had lost about 28,300 troops. The Russian MoD did not give corresponding personnel losses for Ukraine.

The combat work of the crews of the 152-mm self-propelled howitzers Msta-S and Acacia-M, of the Russian Army, in May, 2022, in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Newsflash)

In related news, the Russian MoD says 959 Ukrainian fighters from the Azovstal metallurgical plant have been taken to Russian-controlled territory since Monday.

Kyiv is calling for a prisoner swap for the evacuated soldiers. Moscow says they will be treated according to international norms.

The evacuation appears to mark the fall of the strategic port city of Mariupol, completing Russia’s land bridge to Crimea and giving it control of the Sea of Azov.

The combat work of the crews of the 152-mm self-propelled howitzers Msta-S and Acacia-M, of the Russian Army, in May, 2022, in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Newsflash)

Meanwhile, the first war crimes trial in Ukraine – of Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, who stands accused of killing an unarmed civilian – will resume in Kyiv.

And UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed a “historic day” after Finland and Sweden officially applied to join NATO.

Though most of the existing NATO nations have welcomed their applications, Turkey is currently opposing them.

The combat work of the crews of the 152-mm self-propelled howitzers Msta-S and Acacia-M, of the Russian Army, in May, 2022, in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Newsflash)

This is because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses Helsinki and Stockholm of harbouring Kurdish militants he considers “terrorists”.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on 24th February and is now in its 84th day.

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