Ukrainian Artillerymen Joke About Being ‘Near Crimea Airfield’ As They Smash Russian Howitzer
These images show Ukrainian artillerymen smashing Russian howitzers to pieces and joking that they are “somewhere near the Crimean airfield”.
The images show a Russian howitzer and other military equipment being pummeled by Ukrainian artillery as numerous explosions cause a massive cloud of smoke to rise into the sky somewhere on the frontlines.
The footage was obtained from the 44th Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces – also known as the 44th Separate Artillery Brigade named after Hetman Danylo Apostol – on Thursday, August 11, along with a short statement in which they joked that they were “somewhere near the Crimean airfield”.
Zenger News contacted the head of the public relations service of the Ground Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Major Fityo Volodymyr, who confirmed that the footage was authentic and that the 44th Separate Artillery Brigade was indeed joking about being “near the Crimean airfield”.
Zenger News also contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for further comment, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.
The images and statement were also relayed by the Office of Strategic Communications (StratCom) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
During peacetime, the 44th Separate Artillery Brigade is based in the western Ukrainian city of Ternopil.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Friday marks the 170th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and August 12, Russia had lost about 43,200 personnel, 1,849 tanks, 4,108 armored combat vehicles, 975 artillery units, 261 multiple launch rocket systems, 136 air defense systems, 233 warplanes, 193 helicopters, 778 drones, 185 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,021 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 90 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures. The Pentagon said this week that Russia had suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties – deaths and injuries – since the beginning of its invasion.
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky has urged officials to stop talking to the media about Kyiv’s military strategy, saying that such remarks are “frankly irresponsible”.
Zelensky’s comments came after news outlets began citing anonymous officials as saying that Ukraine was behind the explosions that destroyed the Saky base in Russian-occupied Crimea, despite the Ukrainian government declining to confirm whether it was responsible for the blasts.
President Zelensky has vowed to liberate Crimea and said: “This Russian war against Ukraine and against the entire free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea – with its liberation.”
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is now unlikely to succeed in occupying Ukraine, saying that Russia’s invasion had “faltered” and was “starting to fail”.
Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov has said that Russia has doubled its air strikes on Ukrainian civilians and on military positions compared to last week.
The United Nations has urged for there to be a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest – as Russia and Ukraine continue to accuse each other of shelling the facility.
A United States State Department spokesperson said on Thursday that the U.S. supports calls for there to be a demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant.
Belarus has said that night-time explosions at one of its military bases, located some 20 miles from the Ukrainian border, had been caused by a “technical incident”.