As the war in Ukraine continues, and each side shares videos of the latest destruction of enemy hardware and position – it is becoming clear that despite a few setbacks, Western platforms have been far more successful.
It is true that a number of Leopard 2 main battle tanks have been destroyed, but it pales to the thousands of Soviet-designed systems that now litter the countryside.
In a video shared on social media this week, a number of additional Russian vehicles have been added to the graveyard of destroyed hardware.
And it appears that the U.S.-made M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) played no small role!
Moscow Hates the HIMARS – And For Good Reason
In a nearly one-minute-long clip shared on social media by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) on Monday, counter-battery fire successfully destroyed a Russian 2S7M Malka 203mm self-propelled howitzer and three BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers.
That should be seen as a serious setback for the Kremlin – to lose four such platforms in a single week.
The 2S7M ‘Malka’ 203mm self-propelled artillery gun is the latest upgrade of the 2S7 ‘Pion,’ which was developed in the 1980s. It was designed to strike vital enemy targets and facilities in the tactical depth behind the front line – and was described as among the most powerful self-propelled guns in the world, where a single 203mm round could fully destroy a building. Moreover, as the blast is so powerful that it can physically incapacitate an unprepared soldier or crew member near it from the concussive force, the gun system is equipped with an audible firing alarm that emits a series of short warning tones for approximately five seconds prior to the charge being fired.
This is not the first time that a HIMARS has destroyed a Malka, but such direct exchanges between the two platforms have been rare. The HIMARS actually has a higher rate of fire and the ability to fire and move far quicker than the Russian system – which contributed to the Ukrainians having the edge in the recent artillery duel. Against the BM-21 Grad, the odds were stacked in the HIMARS’ favor, as the American-made platform has the ability to outrange the Russian military and more importantly strike with such precision. That has offered a huge advantage for the Ukraine forces.
It is unclear where the recently posted video was recorded, but the fighting in the Eastern Donbas region has largely been one of artillery strikes for nearly a year – at times resembling the big gun duels of the First World War. However, it isn’t just the soldiers who are suffering from the endless exchanges.
The constant shelling has devastated the countryside, destroyed countless villages, and nearly razed the city of Bakhmut to the ground. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands of innocent civilians have also been caught in the crossfire.
As the video could be considered graphic we have not embedded it. You can find a link to it here.
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.