Ukraine Blows Up Ammo Depot As Kyiv Gives Russian Estimated Losses Update

A Russian ammunition depot was reportedly destroyed by a Ukrainian missile, with video footage shared on social media purportedly showing the strike's dramatic aftermath.

The video was posted on the Facebook page of Ukraine's Armed Forces, which said, "how one of the ammunition depots of the Russian occupiers in eastern Ukraine exploded," according to a translation of the message which did not specify the location.

It shows a strike on what looks like a warehouse, followed by a blaze and smoke billowing into the sky.

The unverified clip comes as Ukrainian armed forces estimated that since the start of its full-scale invasion on February 24, Russia has lost nearly 36,000 military personnel, although this is much higher than Western estimates.

Explosion near Popasna
This screen grab shows what Ukraine's Armed Forces say is the destruction of a Russian arms depot in eastern Ukraine. Social media posts said that the explosion took place in Popasna in the Luhansk region. Ukraine's Armed Forces

The estimate of Russian losses included 35,870 personnel, 1582 tanks and 3737 armored personnel carriers.

The latest official toll came on March 25 when Moscow said 1,351 soldiers and officers had died. Newsweek has contacted the Russian defense ministry for comment on the toll and the reported depot strike.

More details about the location of the strike were revealed when the clip was shared on Twitter accounts. "A warehouse with ammunition belonging to the #Russian occupiers was destroyed near #Popasna, #Luhansk region," tweeted news outlet Nexta.

"Massive explosion of a reportedly Russian ammunition depot in Popasna after being hit by precise Ukrainian strike," tweeted the account of @Blue_Sauron which has shared footage of Ukraine's forces in the war against Russia.

"A LOT of Russian ammo going up in one go," tweeted journalist Euan McDonald from the outlet The New Voice of Ukraine.

News outlet said that judging by the video, remote surveillance of the Russian military positions had been conducted by a drone or a stationary camera.

The outlet noted that Popasna was the scene of fierce fighting at the start of the war and that Russian forces began occupying the destroyed city at the start of May.

The news comes as Russian-backed separatists said on Saturday that they had encircled the key city of Lysychansk, according to Russian state media.

Andrei Marotchko, a spokesperson for the pro-Russian separatist forces, told Tass that "the Luhansk popular militia and Russian forces occupied the last strategic heights" and this meant that the city, which has resisted Moscow's bombardment for weeks, is "completely encircled."

Capturing the city allows the Russians to push deeper into the eastern region of the Donbas, which is the focus of their offensive after they failed to capture Kyiv.