Russian forces in Ukraine have lost 48 artillery systems within the past two days, according to operational updates from Ukraine’s military.
Moscow’s forces lost 21 artillery systems in the past 24 hours, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in a post to social media on Sunday. This comes after the military said on Saturday that 27 artillery systems had been taken out over the previous day.
On Friday, the reported figure for the previous 24 hours was 15 artillery systems, with Kyiv’s military saying 14 had been taken out of use for Russia by Thursday. Since May 8, 106 Russian artillery systems were reportedly lost to Moscow’s forces, per Kyiv’s count.
Newsweek could not independently verify these figures and has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment via email.
Artillery has played a key role in the ongoing war for both sides. In January, the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank said the “war in Ukraine has become an artillery war,” adding that “artillery has proven that it is still the “king of battle” by the intensity of its use.
In early April, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War think tank said Moscow’s forces were “using artillery to offset their degraded offensive capabilities.”
Supplies of artillery shells have been a concern weighing on Kyiv’s mind, despite donations from the country’s Western backers.
This comes as Russia unleashed a wave of strikes, including launching cruise missiles and combat drones, on several targets across Ukraine overnight, the Ukrainian General Staff said on Sunday.
The western Ukrainian city of Ternopil was targeted just ahead of Ukraine’s Eurovision performance in the U.K., officials said on Saturday night. Ternopil is the hometown of Ukraine’s Eurovision entry for this year, Tvorchi, who said on social media that Ternopil “was bombed by Russia while we sang on the Eurovision stage.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that Moscow’s armed forces had “delivered a strike with high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons” at Ternopil, as well as in the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk region.
The attack was directed at “points of deployment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and at the places of storage of ammunition, weapons and military equipment received from Western countries,” the Russian ministry said.
However, Ukrainian military officials reported damaged social infrastructure and wounded civilians after the attacks.
Intense fighting is continuing in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the General Staff added. The embattled city has borne the brunt of much of the heaviest fighting of the war.
But the British Defense Ministry indicated on Saturday that Kyiv’s forces had retaken at least one kilometer of territory in the devastated city.
“Our troops are gradually advancing in two directions in the suburbs of Bakhmut,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar wrote on Telegram on Saturday. The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War think tank evaluated that, as of May 13, Ukrainian forces had regained 16.85 square kilometers in the Bakhmut area through recent counterattacking operations.
Russia, and the international community, are anticipating a long-touted general Ukrainian counteroffensive, which Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, indicated over the weekend could take place soon.
“You will definitely see it and Russia will definitely feel it,” Zelensky told the media on Saturday.
“In early April, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War think tank said Moscow’s forces were “using artillery to offset their degraded offensive capabilities.”
Cool. This means, with 48 less artillery systems, their already degraded offensive capabilities are further degraded.