Russians Report Using Grad Rocket Launcher to Wreak Havoc on Ukrainian Defenses

Russian troops reportedly used a BM-21 Grad mobile rocket launcher to wreak havoc on Ukrainian defenses, as seen in a released video.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) shared the video on May 31 with an update on their "special military operation" in Ukraine.

The MoD said: "During an inspection of the Azovstal plant underground facilities in Mariupol, where the surrendered Nazis of the Ukrainian Azov Brigade were hiding, Russian servicemen found an isothermal van."

pMissile troops and artillery firing on Ukraine's positions of artillery and mortar batteries. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger)/p
Missile troos and artillery firing on Ukraine's ositions of artillery and mortar batteries. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Zenger)

"152 bodies of dead fighters and servicemen of the AFU were stored in the van with a broken cooling system.

"Before surrendering, the Azov command publicly appealed to Zelenskyy to take the bodies of the dead so their families could bury them on Kiev-controlled territory.

"However, there were no requests from Kiev to receive the bodies of the dead at the Azovstal plant.

"Moreover, during an inspection of the van, Russian sappers [combat engineers] found four mines under the bodies of the dead Ukrainian soldiers."

The statement continued: "Based on the results of interrogating the captured Azov fighters, it was established that the mining of the bodies was carried out on direct orders from Kiev.

"The purpose of the provocation is to accuse Russia of deliberately destroying the bodies and preventing their transfer to relatives in order to save the Kiev regime's political 'reputation' and that of Zelenskyy personally.

"In the near future, the Russian side plans to hand over the bodies of Ukrainian fighters and servicemen found in the Azovstal plant to Ukrainian representatives.

"During the day, high-precision air-based missiles hit four control points as well as 13 areas of concentrated Ukrainian manpower and military equipment.

"Operational-tactical, army and unmanned aviation hit 3 command posts, 69 areas of concentrated manpower and military equipment, one radar station and two ammunition depots of the AFU near Raigorodok and Nikolaevka, Donetsk People's Republic.

"The attacks resulted in the elimination of over 290 nationalists and 23 weapons and military equipment. 1 Su-25 aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force was shot down near Kobzatsy, Nikolaev region.

"Russian air defense units shot down six Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles near Donetsk, Makeevka in Donetsk People's Republic, Popasnaya in Luhansk People's Republic, Liptsy, Bolshie Prokhody in Kharkov region, including one UAV shot down near Snake Island.

"Missile troops and artillery hit 38 command posts, 417 areas of concentrated manpower and military equipment, and 46 artillery positions and mortar batteries.

"In total, 184 Ukrainian aircraft and 128 helicopters, 1,070 unmanned aerial vehicles, 325 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,342 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 454 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,738 field artillery and mortars, and 3,311 military vehicles have been destroyed during the operation," the Russian statement claimed.

Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a "special military operation." May 31 marks the 97th day of the campaign.

From February 24 to May 31, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at around 30,500 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 1,358 tanks, 3,302 armored fighting vehicles, 649 artillery systems, 207 multiple launch rocket systems, 93 anti-aircraft systems, 208 warplanes, 174 helicopters, 2,275 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 vessels, 515 unmanned aerial vehicles, 48 units of special equipment, and 120 cruise missiles.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that makes it easier for Ukrainians in occupied areas to become citizens of Russia. He also scrapped the upper age limit for contractual service in the military.

Ukraine has called Russia's offer to lift the blockade of its Black Sea ports in return for the lifting of some sanctions "blackmail." The blockade has led to shortages in wheat and cooking oil across the world.

Meanwhile, Russian troops entered the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk on the morning of May 30 and are advancing on the city center.

The Ukrainian military said: "Two Sievierodonetsk residents were killed with Russian shells, and five more injured. Most of them are from the same residential quarter in the old part of the city. They were cooking food in the yard as the shelling suddenly began. Two Syrotyne residents were seriously injured. All the injured received first aid and were taken to hospitals in Donetsk region."

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.