60% of HIMARS have been destroyed, a pro-Ukrainian source claims
PANAGYURISHTE ($1=1.95 Bulgarian Levs) — The pro-Ukrainian Telegram channel Legitimney [Legitimate in English – ed.] claims that according to their sources, more than 60% of the HIMARS delivered to Ukraine have been destroyed. “We were the first to provide inside information on the tactics of using the armed forces of HIMARS and also described how the Russian Federation could close this case. Our source reported that more than 60% of the HIMARS were destroyed,” the channel wrote Legitimney.
In his analysis published in Telegram, the author of the material also says that the strategy of the Ukrainian troops was initially to move the HIMARS every 12 hours. Different locations, unrelated to each other, were used. Ukraine has also avoided locating a group of systems in one place, but “each separate system in a separate place”. However, Moscow has monitored these activities without taking action. In this way, the Ukrainian armed forces were left with the impression that they had managed to fool Russian military intelligence.
At some point, the Ukrainian armed forces began grouping more than one HIMARS system at one location, and then the Russian armed forces struck them. Legitimney also says: “Now the KHIMARS are few and far between, not as much as they used to be, so there is not as much ‘noise’, and the General Staff no longer publishes pictures of them, realizing that the Russians are yet to try to destroy them all.”
“In addition, the Russians partially changed the tactics of deploying warehouses and strengthened air defense. Of course, the VSU [Armed Forces of Ukraine – ed.] sometimes manages to break through the defenses and inflict damage, but not much,” says Legitimney in its analysis.
The Telegram channel Legitimney makes an interesting analysis of the Antonovsky Bridge, defining the Ukrainian operation to bomb it as a failure. “All the military consider the case of the Antonovsky bridge a failure. After a month and a half of constant attacks, the bridge is standing, many missiles and forces have been expended, and the Russians have not lost the transport artery with the other side of the Dnieper,” the analysis says.
According to Legitimney, this case is only for PR and creating “noise” to distract the masses, but in strategic military terms, it is a failure.
BulgarianMilitary.com cannot confirm the truth of the statements and information published in the analysis of this Telegram channel Legitimney. BulgarianMilitary.com was unable to find out who administers the Legitimney channel, too. Despite Legitimney’s claims, no sources, footage, or satellite images were attached to the analysis to proof its claims.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation says in a press release about its military actions on July 17 that in the region of Krasnoarmeysk, Donetsk, a high-precision missile destroyed one of the M142 HIMARS missile launchers delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces.
The Ministry of Defense released a drone video showing the launch of the precise strike missile, as well as the deployment of at least one HIMARS unit, but not the destruction of the missile system. I.e. from information available through open sources, it can be claimed that the Russian Armed Forces know the location of at least one M142 HIMARS unit.
“In the area of the settlement of Krasnoarmeysk, Donetsk People’s Republic, a launch and transport-loading machine of a US HIMARS multiple rocket launcher system was destroyed with a high-precision ground weapon,” the report said.
According to a Russian reporter for the online publication Raketna Technika – S.V. Gurov, Russia has destroyed four more HIMARS. Gurov claims that based on the information provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense at the moment, the destroyed M142 HIMARS near Krasnoarmeysk is the fourth of four missile systems delivered to Ukraine.
“Taking into account the reliability of the previously published information, it can be assumed that during the hostilities, the Armed Forces of Ukraine [VSU] lost four HIMARS MLRS combat vehicles from their first delivery to Ukraine. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Federation took them less than a month to destroy the most important part of the delivered weapons and military equipment,” Gurov said in his comment.
Most difficult target
On July 27 a Russian anti-aircraft [AA] gunner described to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti how difficult it is to counter the HIMARS MLRS. The agency does not mention his name but refers to him as “the officer” [most likely because of his rank as an officer in the army].
According to the Russian officer, gunners operating the Russian army’s Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile system in Ukraine are gradually learning how to shoot down the American M30/M31 missiles that HIMARS fires. “Besides successfully handling its tasks set by the factory, it also fired missiles, although this was not according to its characteristics [declared],” the officer said.
The Russian officer claims that he personally shot down one American HIMARS MLRS missile over the Donbas, donated to Ukraine. But he admits that this American weapon is a serious challenge for Russian gunners.
“The most difficult target we have worked on is HIMARS rockets. These shells … fly at a very high altitude. We at least detect [missiles] up to 22 thousand meters in height. The difficulty lies in the fact that the range is short, and the time to make a decision is minimal… Our combat crews valiantly cope with the task of shooting down, literally within 10 seconds… The effective dispersion area of these shells is very small, only zero. Therefore, the target is considered small-sized, high-speed,” the source said.
The Russian officer who spoke to RIA Novosti said that the Buk-M3 copes much more successfully with artillery shells of Soviet design, or Russian design, which are in service in the inventory of the Ukrainian military. As an example, he gives that over the Donbas Buk-M3 successfully intercepted and shot down [95%] Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles fired.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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