Over 100 Russian soldiers reported dead in ATACMS strike on firing range

More than 100 Russian soldiers are believed to have been killed after footage appeared to show a training ground in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region being targeted with U.S.-supplied long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS.

A volunteer with GeoConfirmed, an OSINT X, formerly Twitter, account that geolocates visual content from the Russia-Ukraine war, first shared a video of the attack. The source said the footage showed a “Ukrainian ATACMS strike, with 4 ATACMS, including one dud, hitting a Russian training area in Mozhnyakivka, Luhansk Oblast.” Based on the footage, the losses will be “significant.”

U.S. Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and South Korea’s missile system Hyunmu-2 fire a missile into the East Sea during a South Korea-U. S. joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea’s ICBM test on…

South Korean Defense Ministry/Getty Images

The U.S. recently secretly sent Ukraine long-range ATACMS capable of hitting targets as far away as 300 kilometers (186 miles). Newsweek couldn’t independently verify when or where the footage was filmed, and has contacted Russia’s Defense Ministry for comment by email. The Kremlin hasn’t commented on the reported attack.

Open-source intelligence X account OSINTtechnical said the clip showed Ukrainian forces conducting a strike on a Russian training ground with a trio of U.S.-supplied M39 ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles.

“At least one ATACMS directly hit a group of over 100 Russian soldiers, showering them with hundreds of M74 APAM bomblets,” the account said, sharing a still image of a cluster of soldiers gathered in the area before the strikes.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), an independent U.S.-based think tank, highlighted the footage in its latest analysis of the conflict in Ukraine on Wednesday.

The ISW said Kyiv recently struck a Russian military training ground about 80 kilometers (50 miles) behind the front line in the rear of Luhansk.

“Geolocated footage published on May 1 indicates that Ukrainian forces struck a Russian training ground southwest of Mozhnyakivka, likely with four ATACMS, and reportedly killed 116 Russian personnel,” the ISW said.

Kyiv’s military said in an update on Thursday that Moscow’s forces lost 1,030 soldiers over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 470,870.

The figures were provided by the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, which posts estimates of Russia’s troop and equipment losses daily. Newsweek couldn’t independently verify Ukraine’s figures.

Estimates of casualty numbers vary, with Ukraine’s figures usually exceeding those of its Western allies. Moscow rarely shares information on the number of casualties it has sustained in the war. In September 2022, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said 5,937 troops had been killed since the war began.

Kyiv similarly doesn’t disclose its war casualties. A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency assessment leaked in April 2023 said that Ukraine had suffered 124,500 to 131,000 casualties, including 15,500 to 17,500 dead.

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