Three Bayraktar Drones Shot Down, Ukrainian S-300 Complex Destroyed During Sunday Ops: Russian MoD
17:03 GMT 27.02.2022 (Updated: 18:11 GMT 27.02.2022)
© Sputnik / СтрингерUkrainian S-300 launchers on parade during Independence Day Celebrations in 2018. File photo.
© Sputnik / Стрингер/
Russia began a military operation to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine on Thursday after a formal request for assistance from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics coping with unceasing Ukrainian attacks. On Friday, President Putin called on Ukraine's armed forces to rise up and seize power from the country's current authorities.
Three Turkish-sourced Ukrainian Bayraktar TB-2 strike drones were shot down in the suburbs of Chernigov, and an S-300 air defence complex was rendered inoperable in the area of the city of Kramatorsk during Russia's ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Sunday.
Six other air defence systems, including Buk M1 and Osa missile systems, as well as 56 radar stations, were also destroyed during Sunday's operations, Konashenkov said.
Some 1,067 objects of Ukrainian military infrastructure have been destroyed during the operation to date, including 254 tanks and other armoured vehicles, 31 grounded aircraft, 46 heavy multiple launch rocket artillery systems, and 103 artillery guns and mortars, the MoD spokesman said.
Russian troops have suffered casualties, including dead and wounded, Konashenkov said. These are "many times" below those of among Ukrainian nationalist formations, and those of the regular Ukrainian army, he said. The spokesman did not elaborate on specific casualty figures, however.
According to the MoD, Donetsk People's Republic forces have advanced six kilometers, freeing the settlements of Nizhneye, Granitnoe and Gnutovo, while Lugansk People's Republic forces pushed forward four kilometers with Russian fire support.
The Ukrainian military inherited 6,500 tanks, 7,000 armoured vehicles, over 1,500 combat aircraft and more 350 ships after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, becoming one of the largest and most powerful armies in Europe overnight. In the decades since, many of these systems have been scrapped or sold to other countries, with the remainder upgraded. Following the 2014 western-backed coup d'etat in Kiev, Ukraine began receiving military equipment and training from NATO. US deliveries were initially limited to "non-lethal" supplies, including hundreds of Humvees, during the Obama administration, but under Donald Trump and Joe Biden grew to include lethal weapons including Javelin anti-tank systems and man-portable air defence equipment. President Biden signed off on an additional $350 million in military aid to Ukraine on Saturday, bringing the NATO total to nearly $3 billion.
The Kiev government has been at war with breakaway forces in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk since the spring of 2014, when the new authorities in the Ukrainian capital sent troops to try to crush the Donbass uprisings by force. At least 13,000 people were killed in the conflict and over 33,000 people were wounded, with 2.5 million civilians forced to flee their homes, one million of them to neighbouring Russia. In February 2015, Ukraine's president met with the leaders of Russia, Germany and France in Minsk, Belarus to hammer out the Minsk Agreements - aimed at ending the civil war by reintegrating the Donbass into Ukraine in exchange for constitutionally-guaranteed autonomy. In the years that followed, Kiev refused to implement the Minsk peace deal, with an attempt to do so by President Volodymyr Zelensky in 2019 scuttled after tens of thousands of ultranationalists and veterans of the war in the Donbass took to the streets of Kiev and threatened to overthrow him. Since then, the conflict continued, with the shaky ceasefire punctuated by artillery and mortar fire or sniper attacks on almost a daily basis.
On 21 February, amid a Ukrainian military buildup near Donbass and reports of hundreds of violations of the ceasefire by OSCE observers, Russia took the unprecedented step of recognising the Donbass breakaways as independent republics. Days later, on the night of 23 February, amid continued Ukrainian attacks, the states formally asked Russia for military assistance. On the morning of 24 February, Moscow launched what President Putin referred to as a "special military operation" in Ukraine to "demilitarise and denazify" the country.