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Russia Shows Off Air Defense System Against Ukraine

The Osa-AKM variant of the 9K33 Osa anti-aircraft missile system is designed to fight helicopter gunships.

These images purport to show Russian air defense system in action in Ukraine.

The footage shows what appears to be a Russian military vehicle with a white ‘O’ daubed on its side operating in a field and firing its weapon.

The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD), along with a short statement saying that the footage shows “combat work of the crews of the Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system.”

The Russian MoD added: “Osa-AKM crews conduct reconnaissance of the air situation, quickly determine the coordinates of targets and effectively destroy them, including UAVs of various types.”

The Osa-AKM variant of the 9K33 Osa anti-aircraft missile system is designed to fight helicopter gunships.

The Russian MoD quoted an unnamed commander of the Osa-AKM air defense system as saying: “The activity of drones has decreased in recent months.”

We have not been able to independently verify the images or the claims.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation.” June 15 marks the 112th day of the campaign.

Combat work of the crews of the Osa-AKM air defense system in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger)

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 15, Russia had lost 32,750 personnel, 1,440 tanks, 3,528 armored fighting vehicles, 722 pieces of artillery, 230 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), 97 anti-aircraft units, 213 warplanes, 179 helicopters, 2,485 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 boats, 591 unmanned aerial vehicles, 55 special equipment units and 129 cruise missiles were shot down.

All the bridges to the besieged Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk have reportedly been destroyed, according to local governor Serhiy Haidai. Ukrainian forces there are now cut off from any possible retreat and fierce street-to-street fighting is taking place in the city, which has been the focus of Russian artillery fire for weeks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian attacks on the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk have turned them into “dead cities.” An aide to President Zelenskyy has said that Ukraine is losing up to 200 troops a day.

Combat work of the crews of the Osa-AKM air defense system in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger)

President Zelenskyy has asked for additional weapons from Ukraine’s allies. The United Kingdom and the United States have said they are sending long-range missile systems to Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned of more attacks in Ukraine if the West sends long-range weapons.

Ukrainian officials have said that weapons are not arriving fast enough. An adviser to President Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, has said that to end the war, they need “1,000 howitzers caliber 155 mm; 300 MLRS; 500 tanks; 2000 armored vehicles; 1,000 drones”.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution recommending that the European Union grant Ukraine the status of candidate country for EU membership. In the June 8 balloting, 438 members of the parliament voted for the resolution, with 65 voting against and 94 abstaining.

Combat work of the crews of the Osa-AKM air defense system in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Turkey has raised legitimate concerns in its opposition to Sweden and Finland joining the alliance and that talks to find a solution would continue.

It is understood that there are ongoing attempts to set up a civilian corridor out of the encircled city of Sievierodonetsk.

It is not clear if Russia has halted its attacks in the key eastern city to allow for evacuation, and hundreds of civilians are said to be trapped in a huge chemical plant.

The Russian army has said that evacuated civilians will be transported to separatist-controlled areas of the Luhansk Oblast region in eastern Ukraine.

But skeptics are pointing out that previous humanitarian corridors attempted in Ukraine have struggled to stay open.

Combat work of the crews of the Osa-AKM air defense system in Ukraine. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger)

Russian forces now control most of Sievierodonetsk after a month of intense combat, according to British military intelligence.

Meanwhile, NATO ministers are in Brussels for talks as Russia’s military advances in the Donbas region prompt pleas from Ukrainian officials for more Western weapons.

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