« An artillery unit from the Pacific Fleet 155th Independent Marine Brigade was seen conducting combat operations using the BM-21 Grad-1 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) in the Ugledar direction of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.
Footage taken on Monday shows the marines loading, aiming and launching a series of rockets from the MLRS. Grad-1 crew commander, known by his call sign ‘Ezhik’, described the procedure.
« We have already studied the vehicle fully and completely, learned how to operate it properly, how to quickly change position, to aim, how to choose the main vector for firing, so that the vehicle can stop, fire its load and leave in the shortest time possible, » he said.
In addition, the commander claimed the Ukrainian side used mainly cluster munitions.
« They were given cluster munitions, and are firing them, but they do not impede us, we have time to complete our work and leave, » he said. Grad-1 driver, call sign ‘Barguzin’, also remarked that the vehicle performed well and was able to change its position easily.
Washington announced the supply of cluster munitions – banned in over 100 countries – to Kiev in July, despite calling Russia’s own alleged use of the weaponry a possible ‘war crime’ earlier in the conflict.
The US added that Ukraine had given ‘written assurances’ that it would use them in ‘very careful way that is aimed at minimising any risk to civilians’, while Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova called the deliveries ‘a gesture of desperation’.
In Monday’s daily report, the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) General Staff claimed that ‘the adversary fired artillery at more than 10x settlements, including Vuhledar, Vodyane, Prechystivka, Zolota Nyva, Blahodatne, and Urozhaine (Donetsk oblast)’.
The Lugansk People’s Republic is one of four regions, also including the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Kherson and Zaporozhye, that President Vladimir Putin agreed to allow to join the Russian Federation, signing accession documents in September 2022.
According to Moscow, it followed referenda in which people living in those areas exercised their right to self-determination and requested to join Russia.
Ukraine and its international allies condemned the move, calling it an annexation of Kiev’s sovereign territory.