Russia Claims to Have Destroyed U.S.-Made Strykers in Combat in Ukraine

Russia claims to have destroyed four U.S.-made Stryker armoured fighting vehicles, the donation of which constitutes a significant component of American military support of Ukraine’s war effort.

The alleged combat success came in one of the daily Russian digests of their perspective of the war, saying they had launched a strike against the Ukrainian army near Zaporozhye. The casualties they claimed were severe, asserting they had “eliminated” 195 Ukrainian soldiers and a selection of heavy equipment.

As well as two Infantry Fighting Vehicles of unspecified type, but given the loadout of the Ukrainian military likely an ex-Soviet BMP-type tracked vehicle, Russia claimed to have taken out five howitzers of American, British, and unspecified origins. But most striking of all, perhaps, was the assertion that Ukraine’s losses also included “four Stryker armoured personnel carriers”.

This damage was inflicted, Russia said, by land forces supported by “aircraft, artillery and heavy flamethrowers”. The claims have not been verified and Russia has offered no evidence for the kills.

Several news outlets have reported the allegation as being significant because it is the first time Russia has claimed to have taken out one of Ukraine’s U.S.-supplied Stryker vehicles. Despite that, it does appear that Russia previously claimed to have “destroyed” a “US-made Stryker combat vehicle” on the 5th of July, although like most combatant claims in the war, the truth of this is unclear.

Nevertheless, the claimed destruction of four Stryker AFVs comes as Russia, through its online operations, released a video purporting to be of a UAV detonating an explosive on one of the vehicles this week. Military blog ‘The Warzone’ suggests the video is the first combat footage of the Stryker yet seen from Ukraine and shows a loitering munition, observed by a second Russian drone, making contact with the vehicle.

The publication, citing their own sources, says it is unclear whether the hit was a kill, given the video cuts immediately after detonation.

Strykers first arrived in Ukraine in March and, compared to other Western armour like the U.S.-made Bradleys and the German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks, has been comparatively little seen on the battlefield until now. Developing from the initial pledge of 90, nearly 200 Strykers have now been promised to Ukraine by the United States.

The exact cost of this support is unclear, but the cash price for the General Dynamics-built Stryker plus support package for other U.S. allies buying the system rather than receiving it as a gift appears to average out at two or three million dollars per unit in recent years’ deals.


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