Russia Says Images Show Artillery Systems Taking Out Ukrainian Troops

Russian artillery allegedly targeted Ukrainian forces before opening fire on them and quickly moved to new locations, presumably to avoid being hit by return fire.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed in a statement obtained on Monday (in English): "Akatsiya 152-mm self-propelled artillery system crews in combat action within offensive of Western MD [Military District] troops at AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] positions."

The Western Military District is one of five military districts belonging to the Russian Armed Forces and is primarily focused on the western central region of European Russia.

The Russian MoD also claimed: "The Akatsiya system and Msta-B howitzer batteries have launched an attack at manpower and equipment concentration areas of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) from sheltered positions.

"Enemy's convoy was detected by unmanned aerial vehicle crews."

Russia artillery strikes Ukraine positions
The Russian Defense Ministry published footage of what it calls the coordinated actions of Russian army specialists during an attack on positions of Ukrainian troops. Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger

Zenger News has not been able to independently verify the Russian Ministry of Defense's claims or the footage. Zenger contacted the Russian MoD for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, but haven't 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." Monday marks the 124th day of the invasion.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and June 27, Russia had lost about 35,000 personnel, 1,552 tanks, 3,687 armored combat vehicles, 771 artillery units, 243 multiple launch rocket systems, 101 air defense systems, 217 warplanes, 184 helicopters, 636 drones, 137 cruise missiles, 14 warships, 2,575 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 60 units of special equipment.

At least 14 missiles have hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, according to Ukrainian officials. The strikes come as G7 leaders meet in Bavaria, in Germany, for a three-day summit. Military support for Ukraine is at the top of the agenda. The G7 is made up of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Other missiles have reportedly hit the central city of Cherkasy, as well as the strategically vital port city of Odesa.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the G7 leaders and said that he wanted the war to end before the end of the year. He repeated his request for anti-aircraft defense systems, as well as further sanctions on Russia. He also repeated his request for help to export grain from Ukraine.

Russian troops have been accused of pillaging vast quantities of grain from farmers in occupied areas of Ukraine, as well as other crops including sunflower seeds. They have also been accused of stealing fertilizer and agricultural equipment.

The eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is now in Russian hands after Ukrainian troops were ordered to retreat following weeks of siege.

The U.K. and the U. S., as well as Japan and Canada, are set to ban imports of Russian gold. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the ban will "strike at the heart of Putin's war machine."

Last week, the European Union approved Ukraine's application to become a candidate for admission to the bloc, which is currently made up of 27 countries. The decision was hailed in both Brussels and Kyiv as a "historic moment," with Zelensky saying that "Ukraine's future is in the EU."

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.