- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

Watch: Lugansk People’s Militia Shows Off Heavily Damaged British-Made M777 Howitzer

© Photo : Telegram / Lugansk People's MilitiaTrophy M777 howitzer captured by Lugansk People's Militia Forces. Screengrab of LPR People's Militia video.
Trophy M777 howitzer captured by Lugansk People's Militia Forces. Screengrab of LPR People's Militia video. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.07.2022
Over the past four months, the United States, Australia, and Canada have sent Ukraine more than 130 of the British-made 155-mm towed artillery pieces. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and the Russian military have repeatedly reported on these weapons’ use against civilian areas, and their destruction in artillery and air strikes.
The Lugansk People’s Republic’s People’s Militia has published video showing off a trophy British-made M777 howitzer.
“In the course of hostilities, units of the LPR People’s Militia have obtained their first trophy M777 artillery piece,” the militia wrote in a Telegram post.

A People’s Militia spokesman explained in the video that this particular M777 was destroyed by LPR artillery fire after being discovered by aerial reconnaissance, and that it was previously used to attack the civilian settlements of Stakhanov, Pervomaysk and other areas prior to its elimination.

Along with the M777, the video also showed off other captured equipment, much of it in better condition than the howitzer, including a Ukrainian Army Varta 4x4 mine-resistant armored vehicle (MRAP), and a range of anti-tank weapons, including NLAWs and Javelins.
Manufactured by Britain’s BAE Systems and exported to the United States, Canada, Australia, India, Saudi Arabia and Colombia from the mid-2000s onward, the M777 was deployed in combat during the US-led occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and by the Saudi coalition in Yemen.
At least 136 of the 1,200+ M777s manufactured to date have been sent to Ukraine, with the US providing 108 of them, Canada donating four, and Australia sending six. Hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition for the system have also been delivered to the Eastern European country, including conventional rounds, which have a range between 21 and 30 km, and M982 Excalibur precision-guided munitions provided by Canada, which have a 40 km range. Last month, DPR People’s Militia accused Ukrainian forces of shelling a settlement using cluster munitions.
Russian and Donbass forces have made the M777s and their ammunition a priority target, given their regular use by Ukrainian forces to attack both military and civilian areas, including the DPR capital city of Donetsk. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has published several videos of the destruction of M777s and their ammunition depots. Last week, Russia’s Aerospace Forces reported striking a hanger containing M777s near the village of Chasov Yar in Donetsk. On Monday, the Aerospace Forces announced that they'd destroyed of a warehouse containing ammunition for M777s and HIMARS (another NATO artillery system provided to Ukraine), in the Dnepropetrovsk region.
Last month, Ukrainian media reported that that the M777s supplied to Ukraine were sent without integrated GPS targeting assistance systems, ostensibly due to fears that the weapons could be captured by Russian forces.
The US alone has committed some $54 billion in military and economic ‘assistance’ to Ukraine, just $12 billion shy of Russia’s entire military budget in 2021. Washington’s allies in Canada, Europe and Australia have committed billions more, with the European Union pledging to increase military support alone to some 2 billion euros in May.
Moscow has repeatedly warned the US and its allies about the consequences of unchecked weapons deliveries to Kiev, saying they only serve to prolong the Ukrainian crisis, risk escalation, and could result in vast quantities of advanced military hardware ending up on the international arms black market.
In this image released by the Ukrainian Defence Ministry Press Service, Ukrainian soldiers use a launcher with US Javelin missiles during military exercises in the Donetsk Region, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.06.2022
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