Ukraine: Russian depot appears to be on fire in Shakhtarsk
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Kyiv has recently acquired a number of precision heavy artillery pieces from their NATO allies. These include US High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), French Caesar long-range howitzers and German Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The new weapons have allowed Ukraine’s commanders to attack Russian supply lines and military bases in the rear with ever greater accuracy and effectiveness.
In particular Russian artillery ammunition depots have been targeted, as Ukraine’s army tries to disrupt Moscow’s ability to wage its brutal bombardments of cities and villages.
And Ukraine’s high command now appears to have scored a major success against Putin’s army.
According to reports, as many as eight Russian ammunition dumps were blitzed by Ukrainian artillery units in the Donbas region and Kherson province.
Ukraine World, an account belonging to Internews, tweeted: “In the course of July 8th, Ukraine’s armed forces destroyed 5 ammunition depots of the occupants (Shakhtarsk, Nova Kahovka, Snizhne, Debaltseve, and Donetsk).
“Two more – in Hartsyz’k and Avdiivka – were hit during the night. Now, that’s the pace!”
Michael MacKay, who describes himself as a veteran of Ukrainian democracy and civil society, also noted an attack in Luhansk.
He wrote: “Ukrainian defenders destroyed a warehouse containing ammunition near Kadiivka in Russian-occupied Luhansk region.”
The Russians have been able to exploit their overwhelming superiority in heavy artillery to eke out gains in Ukraine’s eastern territories.
Cities and towns have been raised to the ground after being subjected to intense and unremitting rocket and missile strikes.
The ferocious bombardments have forced Ukrainian units into making tactical withdrawals.
However, in a sign that Russian commanders are running critically low on ammunition, reports emerged at the end of June of trains being loaded with munitions from artillery bases in Belarus and sent on to Russia.
The Society of Belarusian railway workers posted a message to their Telegram account on June 24, describing the operation.
They wrote: “At the present time, wagons are being loaded with weapons and ammunition from many large artillery bases.
“After the loading, the group of wagons (between six and ten) will head to Minsk, where they will be attached to normal goods trains and head to stations in Russia.”
The effectiveness of Ukraine’s strategy to target Russian ammunition dumps with their NATO supplied weapons was admitted in a video broadcast by the infamous Russian army veteran Igor Girkin.
He played a key role in Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, later going on to organise militant groups in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic.
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Throughout the war, he has provided a running commentary on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and at times has been very critical of the performance of the Russian army.
Mr Girkin told his followers in a video posted on Sunday: “In the last two weeks, our enemy has destroyed at least eight large artillery warehouses containing rockets and artillery weapons.
“In addition, they have destroyed quite a large number of oil depots, several command posts, as well as a number of air defence systems.”
He went on to add that the days when Russian forces could attack Ukrainian positions without fear of a substantive reply were over.
It comes as the US announced it would be sending a further four HIMAR units to Ukraine, bringing the total number to 12.
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