Ukraine: Footage appears to show strike on Russian unit
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Ukraine took out around 25 Russian troops with a single strike after tracking a military unit to a house in Soledar. The small salt mining town has seen the fiercest fighting of the war in months. The footage of the attack raises questions about the Russian tactics after the troops were easily tracked overhead by Ukrainian forces.
In the clip, the Russian forces can be seen clearly walking along a train track in the snow-covered terrain.
The armed unit was then tracked to a building that the Russians used for shelter.
The Ukrainian forces simply blasted the house with a Himar missile, wiping out the entire building in a single strike as smoke billowed into the air afterwards.
Users on Telegram claimed that the men were Wagner Group troops.
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The Ukrainian @bayraktar_1love account, which monitors the frontline, tweeted the footage.
It added: “Tracking of a Russian military unit and subsequent HIMARS/M270 strike at their location, eastern front.”
The HIMAR strike comes as conflicting reports persist about the fate of Soledar.
On Friday, Russia announced that it had taken control of the salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine, in what would be a rare success for Moscow.
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However, Kyiv said its troops were still holding on and counterattacking in the town, with the Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi reporting “ongoing battles”.
Speaking in his nightly address on Friday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the battle in the region continued to rage and avoided any reference to Russia’s claims of control.
The fight over Soledar as well as Bakhmut in the east of Ukraine has descended into some of the bloodiest fighting of the war so far.
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Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the president of Ukraine, said that Soledar is “Verdun for 21st century,” referencing the longest and bloodiest battle in the first world war.
Regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Thursday that 559 civilians including 15 children remained in Soledar and could not be moved out.
If Russia does capture the town, victory would allow its troops to push on to the nearby city of Bakhmut, and cut off the Ukrainian forces there.
The battle, however, has also opened up a rift between regular Russian forces and the Russian Wagner paramilitary group, as they both battle to claim credit for the victory.
Ukraine’s defence minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Wagner needed victory in Soledar “to deliver some kind of proof to declare they’re better than the regular armed forces of the Russian Federation”.
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