Ukraine 'destroys Russian Black Sea navy tug carrying weapons to Snake Island' and downs helicopter in fresh blows to Putin's invasion
- Videos released show Russian tug boat and helicopter destroyed by missiles
- Russian Navy tug reportedly delivering soldiers and weapons to Snake Island
- Russian attack helicopter was reportedly hit by MANPADS near Donetsk
- Both losses will come as a blow to Putin's grinding invasion of Ukraine
PUBLISHED: 18:30 AEST, 17 June 2022 | UPDATED: 18:38 AEST, 17 June 2022
Videos have been released purporting to show Ukrainian missiles wreaking havoc on Russian military systems as a tug boat is hit near Snake Island and a helicopter brought tumbling down near Donetsk.
Both losses will come as a blow to Putin's grinding invasion of Ukraine, which is making incremental progress in the east of the country but at huge expense in lives and equipment.
The Ukrainian navy released footage of what is thought to be an anti-ship missile striking the tug Vasily Bekh at 4am as it delivered soldiers, weapons, and ammunition to hotly-contested Snake Island.
Its Tor anti air missile system failed to halt the strike but the tug remained afloat and was being evacuated for repairs after sustaining significant damage.
Initial reports said it was hit with a Harpoon missile, however there was also speculation that either a British-supplied Brimstone missile or a ship-based missile defence system was used.
The strike on the Russian Black Sea navy tug was recorded by a loitering Bayraktar TB2 drone, although it is not thought the drone fired the missile.
The Ukrainian navy subsequently deleted the video from their Twitter account.
The Vasyl Bekh has served in the Russian Black Sea Fleet since 2017.
Russian Black Sea Navy the tug Vasily Bekh was reportedly hit by an anti-ship missile at 4am while it was delivering troops and weapons to Snake Island
Its Tor anti air missile system failed to halt the strike but the tug remained afloat and was being evacuated for repairs after sustaining significant damage. Pictured: The Vasily Bekh in happier times
Meanwhile, video shows what is reported to be a Russian Mi-35M attack helicopter engulfed in flames as it is hit by an Igla MANPADS (man-portable air defence system) near the front lines in the Donetsk region.
The Igla is a Soviet-made infrared homing surface-to-air missile system from Ukraine's original military stocks. There were conflicting reports that the missile might have been a US-supplied Stinger.
Intense but attritional trench and artillery warfare has been raging in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as Vladimir Putin tries to annex the regions to Russia, having abandoned loftier aims of conquering the entire country.
The fiercest fighting of late has been seen around the town of Severdonetsk, 60 miles north of Donetsk where the attack helicopter was reported to have been shot down.
The Azov SSO claimed responsibility for downing the Russian helicopter.
Video purports to show what is reported to be a Russian Mi-35M attack helicopter engulfed in flames as it is hit by an Igla MANPADS (man-portable air defence system) near the front lines in the Donetsk region
The helicopter manages to steam onward for a few moments even as it erupts in flames, before the catastrophic damage takes its toll
The Azov SSO later claimed responsibility for downing the Russian helicopter
The Russian losses come as the head of Britain's Armed Forces insisted Russia has already 'strategically lost' the war in Ukraine.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia was 'a more diminished power' capable only of 'tiny' territorial gains after nearly four months of fighting.
It has effectively seized control of Ukraine's eastern regions, but at a huge cost, estimated to be a quarter of its military resources, he added.
It is running out of troops and advanced missiles and would never be able to take over the remainder of the country.
He spoke as the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced the UK has bought more than 20 M109 long-range guns to send to Ukraine. The Belgian-made weapons fire 155mm shells accurate up to 25 miles.
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Ukraine 'destroys Russian Black Sea navy tug carrying weapons to Snake Island' and downs helicopter
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