Ukrainian troops have destroyed an important Russian army command post in the Donbas, eastern Ukraine. They used rocket launchers supplied by the U.S.

A video being widely circulated on social media shows the devastating aftermath at the headquarters (HQ) of unit 89425 of the Russian Armed Forces’ Western District. It was based out of a school building taken over and repurposed by the Russian invaders in the city of Izyum, Kharkiv Region.

The successful strike by Ukrainian forces took place on June 24, using multiple M142 High Mobility Rocket System (HIMARS) rocket launchers. Ukraine recently acquired the HIMARS from the U.S. as part of its latest military aid package.

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A significant number of Russian officers within the HQ were hit, while most Russian military equipment at the site was either destroyed or heavily damaged, news site Guidhall reported.

“All personnel stationed at the command post were demilitarized – over 40 people,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense confirmed on Twitter.

The strike marks the first time that the M142 HIMARS – a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the U.S. Army – has been deployed during the ongoing war in Ukraine. The strike also killed the Russian commander of the 106th airborne assault division, Colonel A.V. Vasilyev – making him the 56th senior Russian officer to be killed during Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion.

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Moscow acknowledged the attack and admitted it had been carried out with HIMARS but made the unsubstantiated claim that the strikes had hit a hospital and killed two civilians.

The U.S. began sending advanced long-range rocket artillery systems to Ukraine earlier this month after repeated requests from Kyiv, which said it needed the weapons to level the playing field with Russia in the east. The systems are in high demand for their ability to carry out precision strikes over long distances – more than double the range of the howitzers the West has already sent.

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The battle for the Donbas region continues to intensify, as Russia focuses its military efforts on the region following an unsuccessful attempt to capture parts of central Ukraine, including the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, during late February and early March.

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