Russians “no longer able to resist HIMARS”: Front-line Ukrainian mayor

The mayor of a city in Ukraine says efforts by Ukrainian soldiers are causing difficulties for Russian forces ahead of future counteroffensives.

Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov told Telegram on Monday morning that “more than 100 Russian soldiers have been killed in recent attacks using high-precision HIMARS. [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems].”

Along with his message, he shared several videos showing the missiles being fired. After the decision of the President of Russia, the war between Ukraine and Russia is approaching 6 months Vladimir Putin to invade the country.

Ukrainian soldiers atop a Ukrainian armored fighting vehicle as they exit Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on July 6, 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov told Telegram on Monday morning that “more than 100 Russian soldiers were killed after the attack using high-precision HIMARS.
Miguel Medina/Getty

“Today, high-precision HIMARS missiles were fired at industrial sites in various districts of the city of Melitopol with temporary deployment,” he said in a Telegram post (translated by Google).

Talking to NewsweekFedorov said one of the targeted Russian bases was an old military airport on the edge of the city, while another was an old plant used as a military warehouse.

He added that Ukrainian forces were able to locate these bases through partisans in the city.

In his telegram message, he added: “According to preliminary estimates, a large amount of military equipment was destroyed. More than 100 Russian soldiers who were in temporary barracks that night received tickets to the Kobzon concert, and their parents are already choosing. Models and colors of Lada cars.”

Soldiers and officials in Ukraine have used the term “Russians” in reference to Iosif Kobzon, a Ukrainian-born but popular singer in Russia who was killed in the war. He was dubbed the “Soviet Sinatra” and after his death in 2018, some Ukrainians saw him as a traitor.

The mention of the car refers to an interview in which grieving parents said they bought a Lada with compensation money for the death of their son, who was killed in Ukraine, the online publication Ukrainian Pravda reported.

Newsweek contacted the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Moscow has said on several occasions that it has destroyed the HIMARS system, but its claims have been unverified and dismissed by some Ukrainian and Western officials.

Fedorov added that the attack would be crucial in future counterattacks against Russian forces.

“Last week, the occupiers redeployed a significant part of their air defenses from Melitopol to Kherson,” he added.

“Tonight is the most effective and shows that existing enemy air defense units are no longer able to resist HIMARS.

“The weakening of the air defense system creates the necessary prerequisites for a successful counteroffensive towards Melitopol.”

He also added how integral HIMARS is proving to be in the fight against the Russian military.

“HIMARS is helping us a lot. Since HIMARS started operating in Ukraine, in Melitopol, we have destroyed many Russian positions,” he said. Newsweek.

Speaking on Russian morale, he added: “They don’t want to go to war. They don’t want to stay in Melitopol.

“They want to return to Russia but their generals tell them, ‘Stay, everything will be fine.’ But it is impossible for them to be good in Melitopol.”

As the conflict edges closer to the 6-month mark, there is no clear end in sight.

However, one European politician, Nico Lange, a German lawmaker and chief of staff to the country’s federal defense minister, said Russia was now facing “tremendous” difficulties.

Speaking to German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) over the weekend, he said a significant influx of military aid to Ukraine was changing the dynamics of the Russian offensive.

“The important aspect of the last few days is that Russia is now being forced to react to the statements and actions of the Ukrainian people,” he said.

“Until now, it was the other way around; Ukrainians were forced to react to everything Russia did.

Lange added that Russia “has moved significant forces south toward both Kherson and Zaporizhia,” two regions in southern Ukraine that are mostly under Russian control. They have also recently been the focus of a significant counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces aimed at retaking them.

“The Ukrainian attack will not look like the Russians: this rolling barrage that destroys everything in its path,” Lange said. “Instead, it will rely on partisans, uprisings in occupied cities, mobile operations behind enemy lines.”

He added: “The Russians are having big problems controlling these areas. Partisan operations are taking place in the occupied areas of Zaporizhia Oblast.

“Russian patrols are being killed at night. Even in Melitopol, in Kherson, there are posters directed against the Russian occupiers, propaganda campaigns. Something new is constantly being put up.”

Russia is now unable to escalate into Ukraine “indefinitely,” Lange said, adding that the Russians face “tremendous” difficulties in continuing the conflict.

Updated with additional information on 08/08/22 at 07:23 am ET

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