Ukraine has reportedly wiped out hundreds of Russian soldiers who thought they were out of the range of danger.

Sources say five US-made HIMARS missiles slammed into the squaddies who were gathered on a beach in the Kherson region.

It is claimed that up to 200 of Vladimir Putin’s men were on the occupied Dzharylhach Island when the strikes occurred.

Drone footage shows infantry troops apparently training in separate groups just moments before explosions engulfed the shoreline, The Sun reported.

The soldiers are suspected to have believed they were safe from attack as they were too far away from the frontline to be hit.

But their false sense of assurance quickly vanished as five fearsome HIMARS missiles, with a range of 80km, rained down.

Video shows how Russia’s makeshift training camp in the Black Sea was then transformed into a fireball as Ukraine unleashed its rockets.

Insiders said the strikes were carried out after information was provided by “underground” sources in the occupied territory.

If so, it suggests the divulgence of top-secret intelligence from pro-Kyiv informers is becoming an increasingly difficult problem for Putin.

It is a clear threat to his repressive regimes in regions of Ukraine that are currently under the despot’s control.

“Thanks to the information provided by the underground in the temporarily occupied territory, dozens of invaders and enemy equipment were destroyed,” Ukraine’s National Resistance Center said.

Russian sources have not denied the wipe-out and instead said it served as a stark warning that nowhere is safe near the war zone.

Pro-war Moscow channel Rybar said it was “a new vivid illustration of the fact that allowing large gatherings of people even in the near-rear – at a distance from the combat zone – can have bad consequences.”

One of the deadliest strikes on Russian forces so far came in June, when over a hundred troops were killed by HIMARS strikes while waiting in crowds to listen to a general’s speech.

Media outlets in Ukraine have reported the death toll for the beach blasts as around 200, although the figure hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Dzharylhach Island, where Putin is believed to have set up training camps, sits some 80km from the nearest Ukranian-held territory.

Russian troops from degraded units are believed to have been sent there to recover and take part in war games to prepare for fighting.

A post by Rybar said: “The soldiers are engaged in combat training, but in one of the frames hit the formation of personnel.

“Some time later, the AFU struck there from MLRS HIMARS.

“Most likely, the servicemen on the island relaxed a bit because of the feeling of imaginary safety: the front line is 80km away, the terrain is inconspicuous, there are no tents in a clear field or warehouses with ammunition.

“But the enemy took advantage of such recklessness.

“Let’s be realistic: it will not be possible to avoid absolutely all crowds of people in the rear, and it may not always be possible in principle.

“The gathering of troops in the open was too obvious.

“Let this video be a memo to Russian servicemen with a clear reminder that even in the rear, it is worth observing the necessary precautions.”

The island where the strikes hit is off the northwest coastline of Putin-annexed Crimea.

Reports of missile strikes in the seized region have also emerged, suggesting Hvardiiske – or Gvardeyskoye – was also targeted.

A huge explosion was seen engulfing the site of an airfield used by Putin’s invading forces as a military base.

Russian sources claimed there was little damage but there was no independent confirmation of the conditions on the ground.

It was speculated that a converted S-200 ballistic missile or the Grom-2 OTRK could have been used.

But it was also claimed the strike was by Storm Shadow, a pinpoint missile supplied to Ukraine by Britain and later France.

Their use against targets in the annexed peninsula was confirmed after footage showing fragments of a Storm Shadow shot down by Russian air defences in Crimea emerged.

It comes as a fearful Putin struggles to fend off attacks from Ukrainian air and sea drones that are bringing the war achingly close to his doorstep.

Kyiv has been fighting back with increased vigour and equipment, launching 120 suspected strikes deep into Russia in only six months.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission



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