Ukraine rains fire on Russia and destroys self-propelled gun and crew

Ukraine rains fire on Putin’s invaders: Drone footage shows Russian self-propelled gun and its crew destroyed and another patrol hit by artillery

  • Ukrainian forces struck a 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled gun in Kharkiv
  • Footage shows it exploding into a huge fireball with its crew members inside
  • Separate video shows Kremlin soldiers being picked off by Ukraine 

A Russian self-propelled gun and its crew members have been blown to smithereens after a strike by Ukrainian forces in Kharkiv as Kyiv continues its fight back against Putin.

Aerial footage shows the 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled gun exploding into a huge fireball after it was hit by Ukrainian artillery.

Other drone footage shows the 93rd Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces striking a group of Russian soldiers patrolling in eastern Ukraine.

It comes amid a concerted counter-offensive by Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops to push back Russian forces in occupied territory in southern Ukraine. 

The Armed Forces of Ukraine shared the video of the Akatsiya self-propelled gun exploding yesterday along with a statement saying: ‘A Russian 2S3 Acacia self-propelled gun was destroyed in the Kharkiv region, together with the crew and ammunition.

A Russian self-propelled gun and its crew members have been blown to smithereens after a strike by Ukrainian forces

Aerial footage shows the 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled gun exploding into a huge fireball after it was hit by Ukrainian artillery

The 2S3 Akatsiya is a Soviet-era weapon similar to a light tank that first entered service in the early 1970s

‘Air reconnaissance of the National Guard, as part of counter-battery measures, found the target, adjusted the fire of the artillerymen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and recorded the result of their virtuoso work.

‘It will be recalled that 2C3 Akatia self-propelled guns have a calibre of 152 mm, as well as a crew of four. It has an effective firing range of 20 km.

‘Together we will win!’

The 2S3 Akatsiya is a Soviet-era weapon similar to a light tank that first entered service in the early 1970s.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claims that Russia has lost around 48,350 personnel, 1,997 tanks, 4,345 armoured combat vehicles, 1,115 artillery units, 287 multiple launch rocket systems, 153 air defence systems, 234 warplanes, 205 helicopters, 851 drones, 196 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,239 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 104 units of special equipment since war broke out.

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

Other footage shows the 93rd Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces striking a group of Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine

An adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Oleksiy Arestovych, has said that the country’s counteroffensive to retake Kherson has neither failed nor stalled. Arestovych said: ‘The fact that we have not taken Kherson yet does not mean that the operation in the south has stalled or failed.’

Arestovych added: ‘It is carried out in a planned manner. We destroy enemy logistics, air defence systems, fuel and ammunition depots.’ He cautioned Ukrainians to be patient, saying: ‘There will be no quick wins.’

Arestovych also said that the Ukrainian armed forces had hit key bridges to isolate Russian forces on the right bank of the Dnieper River.

The Kakhovsky and Daryiv bridges, which had been used by Russia to transport equipment and ammunition to the region, have now been ‘disabled’, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.

An unnamed US official reportedly said on Wednesday that the Russian military is suffering from a severe shortage in manpower in Ukraine and is seeking to recruit personnel from private security companies.

Russia is also reportedly conscripting incarcerated convicts to make up the numbers, offering pardons and financial compensation in exchange, still according to the unnamed US official.

A man leaves his damaged apartment building following a missile strike in Kramatorsk yesterday

Elsewhere today, Ukraine repelled Russian attacks in the direction of Bakhmut and Avdiivka, towns north of the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk, its armed forces’ general staff said.

Pro-Russian troops have focused on Bakhmut in their push to extend control over the Donbas region, Ukraine’s industrial heartland in its east, the general staff added on Wednesday.

Russia has denied reports of Ukrainian progress and said its troops had routed Ukrainian forces.

Separatists said today that 13 emergency service personnel were killed and nine wounded after coming under Ukrainian artillery fire in the Russian-controlled part of Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

‘On Sept. 1, at around 4 am, a group of emergency services personnel from the DPR carrying out their tasks in the village of Rubtsi … came under artillery fire from Ukrainian armed formations,’ officials from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Telegram.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the report.

An interior view of a damaged building after shelling in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine

It comes as Russia and Ukraine accused each other of waging attacks today near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant just as a team of UN inspectors were heading to visit it despite the fighting.

A group of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, led by its director Rafael Grossi, set off for the Russia-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant despite the heavy shelling that led to an emergency system shutting down one of its reactors.

‘There has been increased military activity, including this morning until very recently,’ Grossi said, adding that after being briefed by the Ukrainian military he decided to get moving despite the inherent risks. 

‘But weighing the pros and cons and having come so far, we are not stopping.’

He noted that the risks are ‘very, very high’ in the so-called grey zone between Ukrainian and Russian positions, but ‘we consider that we have the minimum conditions to move.’

Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has been occupied by Russian forces but run by Ukrainian engineers since the early days of the six-month-old war. 

A local resident pushes his bike as smoke rises over the site of an explosion after a rocket attack in Bakhmut, Donetsk region

Ukraine alleges Russia is using the plant as a shield, storing weapons there and launching attacks from around it, while Moscow accuses Ukraine of recklessly firing on the area, raising the threat of a nuclear disaster that may affect the entire continent.

Fighting in early March caused a brief fire at its training complex, and in recent days, the plant was temporarily knocked offline because of damage, heightening fears of a radiation leak or a reactor meltdown. Officials have begun distributing anti-radiation iodine tablets to nearby residents.

‘We have a very important mission to accomplish,’ Grossi said, adding that ‘we are going to start immediately an assessment of the security and the safety situation at the plant.’

‘I am going to consider the possibility of establishing a continued presence of the IAEA at the plant, which we believe is indispensable to stabilize the situation and to get regular, reliable, impartial, neutral updates of what the situation is there,’ he said.

The Russian Defence Ministry said that Ukrainian forces unleashed an artillery barrage of the area and then sent a group of up to 60 scouts to try to seize control of the nuclear plant.

Municipal service workers board up the windows of damaged apartment building broken by a missile strike in Kharkiv

A woman using a mobile phone takes photos of buildings damaged by shelling in a residential area in the city of Irpin

It said that the Ukrainian troops arrived in boats, landing three kilometers northeast of the plant on the left bank of the Dnieper River and tried to seize it. The ministry said that the Russian forces ‘took steps to destroy the enemy,’ engaging warplanes.

‘The provocation by the Kyiv regime is intended to derail the arrival of the IAEA’s group at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,’ the ministry said in a statement.

The Russia-installed administration of the city of Enerhodar just outside the plant said that at least three local residents were killed and one was injured early Thursday by the Ukrainian shelling.

Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of shelling Enerhodar and the territory of the nuclear power plant in a false flag attack intended to derail the arrival of the IAEA’s team.

‘We are demanding that Russia stop provocations and offer the IAEA unhindered access to the Ukrainian nuclear facility,’ said Zaporizhzhia Gov. Oleksandr Starukh.

Neither side’s version of events could immediately be independently verified.

Ukraine’s Enerhoatom company that oversees the country’s nuclear power plants said that mortar shelling by the Russian forces led to the shutdown of one of its reactors by its emergency protection system

It added that the shelling also damaged a backup power supply line used for in-house needs, and one of the plant’s reactors that wasn’t operating was switched to diesel generators.

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