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Russia says inflicted heavy damage on Ukrainian forces

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Russian Mi-28 attack helicopter.

Russia’s defense ministry has said that its military inflicted heavy damage on Kiev forces, killing a multitude of enemy forces while destroying their tanks, armored battle vehicles, drones and munitions depots.

The Russian Defense Ministry told TASS news agency on Sunday Southern Military District chopper took out more than two dozen Ukrainian troops in the Zaporozhye area.

“Reconnaissance revealed a buildup and transfer of additional enemy personnel in one of the wooded areas, up to 30 people. The task was set to destroy the identified target with unguided [aerial] missiles. From time to time, along with personnel, we also hit lightly armored vehicles, pickup trucks … and infantry fighting vehicles,” a military pilot, identified by his call name Spartak, said in a video obtained by TASS.

The Russian Defense Ministry added that the Southern Military District’s aircraft continue to carry out missions to “destroy the enemy’s personnel and armored vehicles,” and disrupt Ukrainian attempts to attack Russian positions in the Zaporozhye area.

Multiple combat sorties by Ka-52 and Mi-28 helicopters of Russia’s Southern Military District targeted Ukrainian fortifications and armored military vehicles, the ministry said, adding that Russian pilots approached the combat area at extremely low altitudes and skirted the terrain, which allowed the aircraft to avoid detection by Ukrainian air defenses.

On another front, Russia’s battlegroup South aircraft hit 23 Ukrainian-controlled areas in the Donetsk area, destroying three munitions depots and a drone control post, among other targets, Georgy Minesashvili, a spokesman for the battlegroup, told TASS.

“The group’s aircraft struck personnel and military equipment in 23 areas. In the course of the fighting, the enemy lost a US-made M777 howitzer, a UK-made Stormer surface-to-air missile system, two pickup trucks, as well as three ammunition depots, a drone control post and an observation post,” he said.

Minesashvili added that Russian air defense systems destroyed 10 Ukrainian drones in the areas of the Vesyolaya Dolina, Belogorovka and Pervomayskoye settlements in the Donetsk People’s Republic. He said Russian units in the Donetsk area, in joint action with aircraft and artillery, repelled three attacks by Ukrainian assault groups in Maryinka and Avdeyevka.

Russia’s battlegroup West units also destroyed two Ukrainian Leopard tanks in the Kupyansk area, according to another spokesman of the Russian forces, Sergey Zybinsky.

“In the course of combat operations, personnel of the battlegroup West destroyed two Leopard tanks, two 152mm towed howitzers 2A65 Msta-B and a mortar crew in the areas of Stelmakhovka, Krinichki, Peschanoye and Petropavlovka,” Zybinsky said.

According to the spokesman, the enemy forces attempted to rotate units of the 25th Airborne Brigade in the forward positions in the Berestovoye area, which is part of the defense line of the 1st Tank Army. Artillery fire from the battlegroup thwarted the rotation. The enemy’s total losses amounted to more than a military unit, two pickup trucks and one unmanned aerial vehicle.

Also, according to Zybinsky, the operational-tactical aircraft of the battlegroup inflicted an air strike on temporary bases of the 44th mechanized and 68th jager brigades near Kopanka and Pershotravnevoye in the Kupyansk area.

Elsewhere, Russia’s battlegroup Dnepr units destroyed a fuel depot and a mortar position in the Kherson area over the past day, a representative of the region’s emergency services told reporters.

“As a result of a fire attack by units of the battlegroup Dnepr in the Kherson area, a 120mm mortar unit and its ammunition were destroyed (losses: three Ukrainian servicemen were killed, four incurred injuries of various severity), and a depot of fuel and lubricants,” he said.

A Ukrainian stronghold was also destroyed in the island areas, and a temporary base of a separate enemy unit and two of their military vehicles were taken out in the Kakhovka region.

In the meantime, the Western leaders, who have extended all-out support to Ukraine since Moscow launched its special military operation in Donbas in February 2022, have been critical of Kiev for its forces’ failed counteroffensive against Russian troops.

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