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Ukraine’s Azov Special Forces Destroy Russian HQ And Tank

The footage was obtained from the Office of Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Wednesday, August 17.

This footage reportedly shows the Azov Special Forces unit destroying a Russian HQ somewhere in Ukraine along with a tank.

The images appear to show a Russian tank and Russian soldiers moving beneath some trees among some houses in a forested area. The images then show the area being hit by Ukrainian ordnance.

The footage was obtained from the Office of Strategic Communications (StratCom) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Wednesday, August 17, along with a statement saying: “SSO [Special Operations Forces] ‘Azov’ destroyed the ‘Katsap’ headquarters and at least one enemy ‘BMW’.”

‘Katsap’ means ‘billy goat’ in Ukrainian and is often used to refer to Russians as it conjures up a stereotypical image of a Russian man with a beard, while ‘BMW’ is understood to have been an ironic reference to the tank that was reportedly blown up in the footage.

It is unclear where the images were shot but the Azov SSO recently reportedly destroyed a Russian ammunition depot, BMPs and seven soldiers in the Kharkiv region.

The SSO is a branch of the Ukrainian military that is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and that is formed exclusively by Spetsnaz (special forces) units.

The SSO Azov-Kharkiv unit was created in Kharkiv on May 1, 2022, and is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The unit says that it is “continuing the history of the legendary Azov regiment while preserving all its values ​​and many years of military experience.”

The Azov Regiment, also known as the Azov Battalion, is a notorious group of soldiers who were officially incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine in 2014, after recapturing Mariupol from pro-Russian separatists in June that year.

Picture shows Russian BMP in Ukraine in undated footage. According to the Ukrainian military authorities in the attack one BMP, military equipment and Russian headquarters were destroyed by the SSO Azov fighters. (@AFUStratCom/Zenger)

The Azov Regiment is said to have begun as a far-right, neo-Nazi group that started out as an urban militia and a political party. It has since expanded and, through service to Ukraine, has been incorporated into the Armed Forces. Azov, on a national level, failed in past elections to win any seats in the Ukrainian Parliament via its political branch.

Azov was originally a paramilitary militia known as the “men in black”. Its integration into Ukraine’s National Guard and the recruitment of many soldiers who were unaffiliated politically is said to have marginalized its most extreme elements and it is now often described by Western military experts as being “anti-Russian” and “ultranationalist”.

Azov made international headlines for its defense of the city of Mariupol before it was eventually overrun by Russian forces, forcing the notorious troops to seek shelter in the Azovstal steelworks. They eventually surrendered to Russian forces after weeks of siege.

Zenger News contacted the StratCom of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for further comment, as well as the Russian Ministry of Defense, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Thursday marks the 176th day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and August 18, Russia had lost about 44,300 personnel, 1,889 tanks, 4,179 armored combat vehicles, 1,010 artillery units, 265 multiple launch rocket systems, 136 air defense systems, 234 warplanes, 197 helicopters, 793 drones, 190 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,061 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 93 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 last week that Russia had suffered between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties – deaths and injuries – since the beginning of its invasion.

Russia has replaced the head of its Black Sea fleet, Admiral Igor Osipov, 49, with a new commander, Vice-Admiral Viktor Sokolov, 60, according to Russian state-owned news agency RIA. The move comes after a series of explosions at three locations, including an airbase, an ammunition depot and an airfield, in Russian-occupied Crimea.

Azov fighters fire one Russian military position in Ukraine in undated footage. According to the Ukrainian military authorities in the attack one BMP, military equipment and Russian headquarters were destroyed by the SSO Azov fighters. (@AFUStratCom/Zenger)

The Chinese Ministry of Defense has said that China is sending troops to Russia to take part in joint military exercises that are “unrelated to the current international and regional situation”.

On Wednesday, Ukraine performed disaster response drills near the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest – following repeated shelling.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak, 50, has said that the main bridge that connects Crimea to Russia must be “dismantled”. Podolyak called the bridge an “illegal object”, adding that it “must therefore be dismantled. Not important how – voluntary or not.”

Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, Oleksii Reznikov, 56, has said that his country had not lost any U.S.-supplied HIMARS systems, contradicting Russian claims.

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