By Lee Bullen
New footage released by Russian defense officials shows Russian troops loading a Malka self-propelled artillery system and destroy Ukrainian targets.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the unit used a 2S7 Malka to carry out the attack, a Soviet self-propelled 203mm heavy artillery.
The Russian military said the self-propelled howitzer are effective at firing at enemy artillery, anti-aircraft missile systems, command posts, and areas of concentrated personnel and military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The MoD said reconnaissance work was carried out during the day and night with Russian Orlan-10 drones, able to detect enemy military targets and communicate the coordinates for carrying out a strike.
The Russian authorities claimed the Malka system destroyed Ukrainian positions at long range, adding that the enemy base was set up in a forest and was heavily fortified.
The coordinates were relayed to the Malka crew and missiles were launched with deadly precision.
The Russian MoD said the Malka self-propelled artillery, developed in the Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century, is still one of the most powerful long-range guns in the world, reaching targets up to 47 kilometers (29 miles) away.
Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. May 30 marks the 96th day of the campaign.
From February 24 to May 29, the total combat losses of Russian troops stand at around 30,150 personnel, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military also claims that Russia has lost 1,338 tanks, 3,270 armored fighting vehicles, 631 artillery systems, 203 multiple launch rocket systems, 93 anti-aircraft systems, 207 warplanes, 174 helicopters, 2,240 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 vessels, 504 unmanned aerial vehicles, 48 units of special equipment, and 116 cruise missiles.
Last week, Ukrainian officials said Russian forces attacked over 40 towns in the eastern Donbas region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Donbas could be left uninhabited by the invasion and accused Russia of carrying out a genocide in the region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that makes it easier for Ukrainians in occupied areas to become citizens of Russia.
Russia has also done away with the upper age limit for contractual service in its 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.
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