Dramatic video shows Ukraine HIMARS destroy Russian Buk system

A U.S.-made high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) is shown dramatically destroying a Russian “Buk” surface-to-air missile system in a new video released by the Ukrainian military.

Air defense systems have been crucial for both Russian and Ukrainian forces during nearly two years of the ongoing conflict. Ukraine has faced an onslaught of aerial attacks across its territory since the Russian invasion began. Meanwhile, Russia has also been hit with Ukrainian drone and missile strikes, with targets located in areas like occupied Crimea and Russian territory itself having increasingly come under fire as the war has progressed.

The 16-second video shared to X, formerly Twitter, by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Monday shows the Buk system disintegrating in a massive explosion following a Ukrainian strike. The video is captioned “Mr. HIMARS doesn’t forgive mistakes.”

“The moment the Ukrainian missile forces turned the Russian ‘Buk’ air defense system into molecules,” subtitles to the video read just before the Russian missile system is caught in the crosshairs of a Ukrainian rocket.

“Performed by HIMARS with fire adjustment of the 14th Regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the subtitles continue as the explosion expands before shattered pieces of the destroyed Russian system are seen scattered on the ground at the end of the clip.

Newsweek reached out for comment to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email on Monday.

HIMARS have been used in a significant number of successful Ukrainian airstrikes, with the truck-mounted systems capable of being easily moved along the front lines and quickly loaded with missiles.

The Buk systems are reportedly capable of striking aerial targets—such as jets, helicopters and missiles—from a distance of between 3 and 45 kilometers, or just under 2 miles to about 28 miles. They can moved from site to site with the aid of either wheels or tracks.

At the beginning of 2023, Vladimir Putin‘s military had an inventory of around 350 Buk systems, consisting of three different model variants, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

It is unclear how many Buks may have been destroyed since they arrived in Ukraine, although Kyiv’s military has shared several videos of the systems going up in flames in recent months.

Ukrainian military officials claimed to have taken out at least two of the Buks in late November, while also sharing a video of another Buk purportedly being destroyed in an apparent missile attack days later in early December.

A one-minute video clip that allegedly shows three additional Buk systems being destroyed in Ukraine’s Donetsk region was shared online by the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces in early January.

Newsweek has not independently verified the locations of the purported Russian losses or the authenticity of any of the clips shared by Ukraine.

Ukrainian service members are pictured watching a high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) fire a rocket in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on May 18, 2023. A Russian “Buk” surface-to-air missile system is featured in…

Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine; Mikhail Svetlov