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So-Called DPR Claims Its Artillery Destroyed American M777 Howitzer

The images were obtained from the People's Militia of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) on Tuesday, August 23.

The pro-Russian, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic has claimed that its artillery has destroyed an American-made M777 howitzer near the city of Kurakhove in the Russian-occupied, eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk.

The footage, which appears to have been shot from a drone, shows flames burning among some trees running along the side of a field. The images then cut and appear to show a motionless soldier and some sort of military equipment, but it is unclear if it is an M777 howitzer.

The images were obtained from the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) on Tuesday, August 23, along with a statement claiming: “Artillery of the [People’s Militia of the] DPR destroyed an M777 howitzer in the Kurakhove region.

“The American-made M777 howitzer, with the help of which Ukrainian nationalists carried out terrorist shelling of Donetsk, was destroyed in the Kurakhove region.”

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

The M777 was originally a U.K.-built howitzer designed by the British arms manufacturer BAE Systems. It was first used during the U.S. war in Afghanistan (2001-2021). Current models comprise about 70 percent American-built parts.

Zenger News contacted the People’s Militia for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian and Russian Ministries of Defense, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.

Damaged howitzer stands in a field area in the Kurakhove region, Ukraine in undated footage. Artillery of the NM DPR destroyed an American-made M777 howitzer, with the help of which Ukrainian army carried out shelling of Donetsk. (@nm_dnr/Zenger).

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Wednesday marks the 182nd day of the war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and August 24, Russia had lost about 45,700 personnel, 1,924 tanks, 4,243 armored combat vehicles, 1,036 artillery units, 266 multiple launch rocket systems, 147 air defense systems, 234 warplanes, 199 helicopters, 819 drones, 196 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,160 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 99 units of special equipment.

Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, 49, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said on Monday, August 22, that almost 9,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion.

Ukraine is marking 31 years of independence from the Soviet Union today, on Wednesday, August 24. The United States is reportedly set to announce $3 billion in fresh military aid to Kyiv.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the Ukrainian intelligence services and the country’s allies have information of an increased threat from Russia, with celebrations in Kyiv canceled. He warned Moscow of a “powerful response” to any attacks on Ukrainian Independence Day.

President Zelensky has vowed to retake Russian-occupied Crimea. He said: “We will return Crimea, because it is our territory. In any way we decide. We will decide it on our own, without consulting any other state.” He added: “It all began with Crimea and it will end with Crimea.”

Picture shows an explosion in a field area in the Kurakhove region, Ukraine in undated footage. Artillery of the NM DPR destroyed an American-made M777 howitzer, with the help of which Ukrainian army carried out shelling of Donetsk. (@nm_dnr/Zenger).

The Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom issued an intelligence update today, on Wednesday, August 24, in which it said: “Today marks the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. Since 2014, President Putin has sought to use a mix of force and coercive diplomacy to increase and solidify Russia’s influence in Ukraine and interfere in its foreign affairs.

“Russia launched a full invasion of Ukraine six months ago, with the aim of toppling the government and occupying most of the country. By April, Russia’s leaders realized this had failed, and reverted to more modest objectives in eastern and southern Ukraine.

“The Donbas offensive is making minimal progress and Russia anticipates a major Ukrainian counterattack. Operationally, Russia is suffering from shortages of munitions, vehicles and personnel. Morale is poor in many parts of its military and its army is significantly degraded. Its diplomatic power has been diminished and its long-term economic outlook is bleak. Six months in and Russia’s war has proven both costly and strategically harmful.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that it will visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant–Europe’s largest–in Ukraine in the coming days, if discussions are successful.

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