Moscow: Russian forces have repelled a combined strike of multiple launch rocket systems of Ukrainian troops in the south Donetsk direction and have destroyed two Ukrainian reconnaissance groups, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson told Sputnik.
“In the south Donetsk direction, combined missile strikes involving two rockets of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system [MLRS] and three projectiles of the Smerch MLRS were repelled. The crews of the S-300 and Buk anti-aircraft missile systems destroyed all targets,” the spokesperson said.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian forces have also shot down three Ukrainian drones.
In the south Donetsk direction, Russian troops have thwarted “two attempts by the enemy to carry out reconnaissance by force,” “a reconnaissance group was destroyed, and up to 20 militants were eliminated,” the defense ministry spokesperson told Sputnik.
In addition, in the Zaporizhzhia direction, an attempt by Ukrainian forces to send a sabotage and reconnaissance group to the rear of Russian troops was thwarted and five militants were killed, the spokesperson said.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, after the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian provocations. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries have rolled out a comprehensive sanctions campaign against Moscow and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine.
On September 30, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, signed agreements on the accession of these territories to Russia, following referendums that showed that an overwhelming majority of the local population supported becoming part of Russia.
Western countries have significantly increased their economic and military support for Kiev, which now includes air defense and multiple rocket launching systems, tanks, self-propelled artillery, anti-aircraft guns, armored vehicles and various types of ammunition. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in January that arms supplies to Ukraine by Western countries testify to their direct and growing involvement in the conflict.