Russian military says it destroyed US- supplied M 777 Howitzers

Russian military says it destroyed US- supplied M 777 Howitzers

The Russian military says it has destroyed a battery of American M 777 howitzers supplied to Ukraine.

A Russian artillery strike destroyed a battery of US-supplied 155 mm towed M 777 howitzers used by the Ukrainian military, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Monday.

The ministry released a video showing Russian self-propelled 152 mm 2 S 5 Giatsint-S artillery guns in action. It didn't specify the location, but it described the strike as a counterbattery mission. The Russian military reported last Wednesday that a battery of M 777 Howitzers were destroying near the village of Podgornoe. The Russian army used strike drones to force their opponents to seek cover in a small forest and followed a heavy artillery strike to finish them off, the Defense Ministry said. It released drone footage of Ukrainian forces under fire as evidence.

The US has donated 90 artillery systems of the M 777 type, overmm shells and some 70 trucks to the Ukraine. Smaller batches have been offered by US allies Canada and Australia. Some Ukraine watchers were expecting the howitzers to be a gamechanger for Kiev's campaign against Moscow.

There are reports from Ukraine that the M 777 s lacked advanced computer equipment to ensure accuracy. The Pentagon doesn't want to comment on the claim, but it believes that they withheld the digital fire control systems to prevent Russia from capturing and studying them.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February after Kiev didn't implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it plans to retake the two republics by force.