Vladimir Putin rattled after £12m drone killer system blown into smithereens

Ukrainian military destroys Russian Air Defense system

Vladimir Putin has been delivered a hammer blow after one of his £12 million advanced air defence systems was obliterated.

Ukraine’s Defense Forces shared footage of the attack, claiming they struck a Pantsir S1 system in the southern region of Kherson, which has been occupied since the early stages of the war with Russia.

The short-range anti-aircraft gun and missile system, which has been dubbed the “drone killer”, was designed to counter aircraft and cruise missile attacks, as well as precision-guided munitions.

According to Kyiv’s forces, the Pantsir-S1 was blown to smithereens near the village of Chaplynka, located some miles behind the current front lines.

The loss of the air defence system comes only days after Ukrainian intelligence claimed Moscow lost 7,500 men in a week – although Ukrainian figures tend to exceed estimates by its allies.

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They also suggested Russia lost 18 artillery systems over the weekend as Kyiv’s troops continued to push forward with their counteroffensive.

Kherson has become the focus of the war effort in recent weeks, with the Russia-installed governor of the region confirming last week that Ukrainians had managed to cross east of the Dnipro River.

The oblast is one of four regions Russia unilaterally annexed last year with a sham referendum. Its conquest is considered to be a pivotal step for Kyiv to reclaim Crimea as well.

The General Staff of Ukraine said on Monday that its troops “maintain their positions held on the left bank” of the river as they “continue to conduct counter-battery fire, as they strike behind the enemy lines.”

The UK Defence Ministry said on Sunday that there were “few immediate prospects of major changes in the front line,” with neither Russia nor Ukraine having made meaningful progress on the battlefield.

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In a statement, it said that intense fighting was concentrated near Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, and on the left bank of the Dnipro River, where Ukrainian forces have established a bridgehead.

Ukrainian officials have strongly pushed back on suggestions they are in a stalemate with Russia after a long-awaited counteroffensive over the summer did not radically change the battle lines on the ground.

In a visit to Washington last week, Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s office, confirmed that Ukrainian forces had finally pushed through to the river, which has essentially served as the immovable front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces for months.

However, as winter sets in it will become more difficult for either side to make large gains due to ground conditions.

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