Vladimir Putin has been delivered a hammer blow after one of his £12 million advanced air defence systems was obliterated.
Ukraine’s Defense Forces shared footage of the attack, claiming they struck a Pantsir S1 system in the southern region of Kherson, which has been occupied since the early stages of the war with Russia.
The short-range anti-aircraft gun and missile system, which has been dubbed the “drone killer”, was designed to counter aircraft and cruise missile attacks, as well as precision-guided munitions.
According to Kyiv’s forces, the Pantsir-S1 was blown to smithereens near the village of Chaplynka, located some miles behind the current front lines.
The loss of the air defence system comes only days after Ukrainian intelligence claimed Moscow lost 7,500 men in a week – although Ukrainian figures tend to exceed estimates by its allies.
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In a statement, it said that intense fighting was concentrated near Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, and on the left bank of the Dnipro River, where Ukrainian forces have established a bridgehead.
Ukrainian officials have strongly pushed back on suggestions they are in a stalemate with Russia after a long-awaited counteroffensive over the summer did not radically change the battle lines on the ground.
In a visit to Washington last week, Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s office, confirmed that Ukrainian forces had finally pushed through to the river, which has essentially served as the immovable front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces for months.
However, as winter sets in it will become more difficult for either side to make large gains due to ground conditions.