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Video: Russian drone films Ukrainians fighting back with rockets

Ukrainian soldiers man their trenches in anticipation of a Russian assault on Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv on Sunday, March 6, 2022. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
March 22, 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches the end of its first month, Ukrainian forces are still fighting back and are still operating numerous heavy military vehicles.

Footage captured on Monday from a Russian military drone showed several Ukrainian multiple rocket launch systems (MRLSs) firing rockets on Russian forces from near a shopping mall on the northwest end of Kyiv.

The Ukrainian side had appeared to use the Retroville shopping mall as a base for its rocket launchers between battles.

The Russian drone footage ended with an apparent Russian missile strike on the mall itself. It was not immediately clear whether the Ukrainian MLRSs were still parked at the shopping mall at the time of the Russian strike on Sunday, but the Guardian reported eight people were killed in the attack on the mall and the building had collapsed in a pile of rubble.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces retook Makariv, a suburb to the west of Kyiv. Ukrainian forces recaptured the suburb after days of intense fighting. The area is strategically important as it runs along the M06 highway, which leads into Kyiv from the west.

Footage shared to Twitter on Tuesday showed the Kyiv Oblast police chief surveying the damage after the fighting in Makariv after Ukrainian forces retook the area.

Ukrainian forces also reportedly retook the village of Moschun on Tuesday. The village is also situated near a road leading into Kyiv from the north.

The continued heavy fighting in Ukraine has cost Russia potentially thousands of troops lives and hundreds of vehicles and weapons systems.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian military estimated Russia has lost about 15,300 Russian troops, 509 tanks, 1,556 armored personnel vehicles, 252 artillery pieces, 80 MLRSs, 45 anti-aircraft systems, 99 planes and 123 helicopters.

While the exact numbers of Russian weapons systems lost in the fighting is difficult to independently verify at this time, the U.S. still assesses Russia has large numbers of combat vehicles and weapons systems in reserve.

“They have put a lot into this fight, and they still have a lot left. We recognize that they are taking casualties every day, they are losing aircraft, they are losing armor and vehicles, no doubt about that — tanks, APCs, artillery units, helicopters, fixed-wing jets,” a senior U.S. defense official said during a background press call on Monday. “They’re losing, — you know, I wouldn’t say they’re losing everything every day in those categories, but we do see them continue to suffer casualties and losses, but they had — they built up an awful lot of combat power, as we said way back in the fall.”

The defense official said Russia is expending “a lot of munitions,” but said Russia still has “a significant majority of their ballistic missile capability’s still available to them. They’ve got more than half of their air-launched cruise missile capability available to them.”