Russian heavy artillery has targeted Ukrainian gunnery units in a thundering battle of the big guns.
Kremlin military officials released video footage of their self-propelled 203mm guns launching a counter-attack against a Ukrainian encampment.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on May 4th: “Artillery units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue combat work to destroy artillery firing positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, strongholds, and areas with concentrated Ukrainian military equipment.
“Artillery crews carry out intelligence work in the daytime and at night using unmanned aerial vehicles.
“During the special military operation, crews mounted self-propelled ‘Malka’ heavy artilleries to attack positions held by the artillerymen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
The Russian military claimed the counter-offensive was successful against a Ukrainian unit of self-propelled guns and howitzers.
The MoD said: “Competent actions and calculations of the self-propelled ‘Malka’ guns destroyed the positions of the artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with Pion 203-mm self-propelled guns and a battery of 122-mm howitzer D-30s.
“As the gunners themselves stated, such goals are commendable and very difficult. To defeat them, you have to apply all practical skills and abilities.”
Matvei, senior Malka gunner, said: “We were aided with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles. We took our shot, we hit the target.
“We struck the position of the 2S7 Pion self-propelled guns of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The result of the work always depends on the competence of our calculations.”
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation”.
Today marks the 70th day of the campaign.
From 24th February to 4th May, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at around 24,500 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 1,077 tanks, 2,610 armored fighting vehicles, 491 artillery systems, 163 multiple launch rocket systems, 81 anti-aircraft systems, 194 warplanes, 155 helicopters, 1,867 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 10 vessels, 303 unmanned aerial vehicles, 38 units of special equipment and 87 cruise missiles.
Meanwhile, a host of international organizations have banned Russia, already hit by economic sanctions, from taking part in sporting and cultural events, such as this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, in response to the country’s invasion.