In the minute-long clip, which was posted on Twitter by open-source military intelligence source OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) on Sunday, dozens of crates that likely contained small arms, artillery shells, and other ordnance appeared to be haphazardly placed on the side of a dirt road.
Russian Organization Efforts
To call the site an “ammo depot” would be a grave overstatement, but it did appear that efforts were made to protect some of the ordnance from the weather.
It could be best described as a Russian organization at its finest.
The stockpile of materials was spotted by a Ukrainian drone, which led to the cache coming under attack – and by the middle of the video, the stockpile was left burning.
It is unclear how this might impact Russia’s war effort in the region.
Yet, it was just last week that Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin took to the social messaging platform Telegram to berate the Russian Ministry of Defense for failing to provide his mercenary forces with enough ammunition.
Prigozhin even went so far as to warn that he would withdraw his men if they didn’t receive the necessary supplies.
Ammo Depot Explosions and Fires
Earlier this month, it was also reported that the Kremlin had faced an ammunition shortage. The destruction of even one cache – a sizeable one at that – is unlikely to be welcome news to Russian military leaders or the mercenary chief.
This is also not the first time that the Ukrainian military has targeted Russian ammo depots or ordnance caches. In July of last year, Kyiv announced that it had launched a strike on an ammunition stockpile in Nova Kahkovka, while Russia claimed that the strike also hit a fertilizer warehouse and killed some seven people.
In August 2022, an ammunition depot in Russia, near the border of Ukraine, also burst into flames. It was the second ammunition fire to catch fire in two weeks. The fire forced the residents of the village of Timonovo to evacuate. However, Russia attempted to downplay the incident and suggested high temperatures played a role in the fire.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense mocked the incident in August, and on social media responded, “In a few months we will find out whether Russian ammunition can explode because of the cold. The five main causes of sudden explosions in Russia are: winter, spring, summer, autumn, and smoking.”
More Woes for Prigozhin
The issue of ammunition supplies may be one of several new concerns Prigozhin now must face. On Monday, it was reported that the UK plans to designate the Wagner Group as a “terrorist organization.” It would join a list of 78 other groups that include ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Once an organization is listed, it becomes a criminal offense in the UK to belong to the group or to support it. Punishment can include up to 14 years in prison.
The UK would be among the first to label the Wagner Group a terrorist organization, but this move could encourage other countries to do the same.
Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces destroy a roadside Russian ammunition cache pic.twitter.com/E7aNoa9KQr
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) May 14, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.