Russia has lost hard-to-replace systems that help its forces find and destroy Ukrainian artillery, and Western intel says there aren't many left

  • Ukraine's special operations forces recently destroyed a Russian Zoopark-1M counter-battery radar.

  • Russian forces have lost at least six of these critical detection systems, and they're difficult to replace.

  • Russia "likely only has a very limited number left in Ukraine," Western intelligence said Friday.

Russia appears to have lost at least half a dozen hard-to-replace radar systems that have played an important role in Ukraine helping its forces find and destroy Ukrainian artillery. Western intelligence believes Moscow may only have a few left in the fight.

Ukraine's special operations forces recently published footage showing a Russian Zoopark-1M counter-battery radar being destroyed, according to a Friday intelligence update from Britain's defense ministry. It said the footage was released on March 23 and that the attack unfolded in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region.

Several Ukrainian media outlets reported last week that Russian Zoopark counter-battery radar systems had been taken out in combat by Kyiv's special operations forces.

Britain's defense ministry said both Ukraine and Russia have been constantly trying to eliminate each other's counter-battery radars throughout the 13-month-long war.

"These systems are relatively few in number but are a significant force multiplier," the ministry noted in its update. "They allow commanders to rapidly locate and strike enemy artillery."

"However, because they have an active electromagnetic signature, they are vulnerable to being detected and destroyed," the defense ministry said. It added that Russian forces have lost at least six of these systems and "likely only has a very limited number left in Ukraine."

Both Ukraine and Russia are prioritizing the restoration of their counter-battery radar fleets, the UK said, though it noted that Russia will "likely struggle" to do so because sweeping sanctions targeting Russia by the international community have disrupted its supply of advanced electronics needed to work the systems.

The Zoopark systems allow Russia to detect incoming Ukrainian munitions and track their trajectory.

In a grinding war that has featured heavy exchanges of artillery, systems like these are critical to have in the arsenal. According to an open-source intelligence analysis from Oryx, Russia has seen at least seven Zoopark-1М radars destroyed, damaged, or captured — a similar figure to what the UK has provided.

During Ukraine's lightening-fast counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region, Kyiv's military captured a Zoopark-1М during what became a rout of Russian forces in the area. Britain's defense ministry said at the time that the Zoopark was just one captured item in a massive amount of "high-value equipment" abandoned by Russian forces.

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