The reason behind Russia’s heavy losses near Vuhledar in the Donetsk region has been Ukraine’s successful adoption of Remote Anti-Armour Mine systems, the British Defence Ministry reports.
RAAM is a projectile that is capable of ejecting anti-tank mines at ranges of up to 17 km away from itself, quickly creating a minefield. In some instances, Ukraine has launched the mines over and behind advancing Russian units, causing disarray when Russian vehicles attempt to withdraw, the Ministry says.
“There is a realistic possibility that Russia’s MoD has been insistent in its drive for success in Vuhledar, partially because it wants its own success to compete with [PMC] Wagner’s achievements,” the agency’s statement reads. The latter is tactical success in the Bakhmut sector, dominated by PMC Wagner, the British MoD notes.
Ukrainian media outlet censor.net posted detailed maps of warfare near Vuhledar, starting from April 2022, yesterday. “If we take the frontline as of April 2022 and March 2023, we can see that the occupants have only managed to advance 2 km in the vicinity of Nikolske,” the report says.
The UK Defence Ministry reported in late February 2023 that Russia’s 155th Naval Infantry Brigade had apparently suffered extremely high casualties near Ukraine’s Vuhledar. Satellite imagery shared by the agency demonstrated evidence of Russia’s equipment losses.
RAAM systems first appeared on the list of weapons supplied by the US to Ukraine in September 2022. They have also been included in the packages of weapons aid that followed.