MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 341 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,815 tanks, and 195 multiple rocket launcher (MLR) installations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov announced on Thursday.
"In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, the following have been destroyed: 124 aircraft and 77 helicopters, 216 anti-aircraft missile systems, 341 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,815 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 195 multiple rocket launchers, 762 field artillery guns and mortars, and also 1,689 units of special military vehicles," he said.
The air defense systems of Russia’s Aerospace Forces have shot down 18 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over 24 hours, Konashenkov added. "The air defense systems of Russia’s Aerospace Forces have shot down 18 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over 24 hours in the vicinity of the communities of Balakleya, Verbovoye, Verkhnetoretskoye, Dokuchaevsk, Korolyovka, Komarin, Opytnoye, Pavlovka, Repki, Chernigov, Chernobyl, Snovsk, including one Bayraktar TB2 near Bezymyannoye," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics, he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.