The war in Ukraine keeps getting increasingly intense with each passing day. And now that Kyiv has launched a massive new offensive to take back territory, many experts here in America are worried about what Putin might do next.
Could he consider tactical nuclear weapons? Is the Russian regime stable? What about the Wagner Group? How long will the war last?
We know one clear thing: social media will always be a constant window into what happens next.
Ukraine’s SBU “Alpha” Group Takes Out Russian Air Defense Systems – Dramatic video footage shared on social media this past March shows how the Ukrainian Security Service continues to take out Russian weapons using loitering munitions.
The clip was shared on Twitter by Ukraine Weapons Tracker.
The account noted that the strikes appeared to take place somewhere in eastern Ukraine.
“In the East, a Russian 9A83M2 TELAR of the advanced S-300V4 air defence system and a 9A331M TLAR of the Tor-M2 air defence system were taken out of action by unknown loitering munitions from the Ukrainian SBU “Alpha” SSO,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes.
In the video, which uses videos recorded by the loitering munitions themselves as well as other rotary-blade drones, several Russian missile systems parked along hedgerows and country roads are seen erupting into flames following the strikes.
Each strike causes significant damage to the machines, creating huge fireballs and plumes of smoke.
Little other information is available about the video, though it does indicate that Russian forces are suffering major weapons losses at the hands of Ukrainian loitering munitions, some of which are improvised and others likely to include Switchblade 300 devices donated by the United States.
#Ukraine: In the East, a Russian 9A83M2 TELAR of the advanced S-300V4 air defence system and a 9A331M TLAR of the Tor-M2 air defence system were taken out of action by unknown loitering munitions from the Ukrainian SBU “Alpha” SSO. pic.twitter.com/GAs4mgcWaq
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 9, 2023
Ukraine Destroys Air Defense System & 700 Soldiers In Single Day
Indeed, it seems Ukraine is targeting Russian air defenses more and more these days.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine back on March 7 – around the time of the video – the Ukrainian Air Force successfully destroyed a Buk-M1-2 Russian air defense system and killed roughly 700 Russian soldiers in a single day. Since then, one can argue Ukraine’s ability to strike Russian assets has gotten even better – and can even cross deep into Russia.
Air Defense Systems Make Aircraft Unusable
According to Gen. James Hecker, the commander of the United States Air Force in Europe and Africa, both Ukrainian and Russian forces have used air defenses so well that fighter jets have been rendered “worthless.”
Speaking during a roundtable discussion hosted by the Air and Space Force’ Association’s Air Warfare Symposium, Hecker explained why Russian and Ukrainian forces have mostly conducted warfare on the ground.
“Both of their integrated air and missile defense, especially when you’re talking about going against aircraft, have been very effective,” Hecker said. “And that’s why they’re not flying.”
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.