The war in Ukraine is one of the first wars to feature real-time video of tanks and armored personnel carriers getting destroyed on Twitter and other platforms such as TikTok. The amount of carnage in Ukraine is unbelievable as Russia is losing tank after tank for all the world to see. All this footage has to be considered a propaganda win for the Ukrainians as they hold their defensive positions and then stage counter-attacks and ambushes – all with the help of anti-tank weapons.
Here are some of the top videos that show how Ukraine is getting the job done on the battlefield.
First, a note of caution. Some of the videos below could be considered graphic. Also, 1945 cannot verify independently the below.
Info-Ops at Its Finest
The Ukrainians use social media videos as the new ammunition for information operations. This is more than just sharing information or updating your status – where you have been and which restaurant you have eaten at. Now videos on social media can chronicle how well your side is fighting in a war. It can help figure out enemy losses and attempt to frame weapons systems that work the best. The video can alert military leaders on which hardware to ask for or buy and it allows armchair generals an opportunity to analyze the war.
Which Side Has the Upper Hand? Just Look on Social Media
This creates an image of Ukraine acting like David and Russia playing Goliath – asymmetric warfare at its finest. Through video-sharing the world can believe that Ukraine is good, and Russia is evil. A shoulder-fired anti-tank missile like the Javelin can be the stuff of legend and even inspire musical numbers that captivate a nation.
Don’t Miss This Video
Here is the first video you should watch – a song dedicated to the Javelin. Spare just a minute and a half of your time for this catchy jingle with glorious scenes of exploding Russian armored vehicles.
Emerson Brooking, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, has taken a close look at Ukrainian social media. “We are experiencing the war very viscerally through social media feeds,” he told the New York Times. “The transformation of Ukraine into a nation at war is just stark. And so, it has especially resonated with Western audiences,” Brooking said.
Smart Phones Are Weapons Too
This video has come overwhelmingly from the cellular world as 61-percent of the Ukrainian population owns a smart phone. Ukrainian fighters quickly upload video to Twitter after anti-tank guided missile takedowns. Here’s footage from a Javelin-wielding soldier who is inspecting the battlefield after a successful engagement against Russian tanks.
Ukrainian army destroyed two Russian tanks near Kyiv with Javelin anti-tank missiles.
Western nations are sending them thousands more of these and similar anti-tank weapons, including 1000 from Germany, who lifted their export ban on lethal weapons to do so. pic.twitter.com/Lh7CyjOufZ
— ?? Ukrainian Glory Forever ?? (@r_netsec) February 27, 2022
Billionaire Elon Musk has used his SpaceX Starlink Internet system to keep Ukraine digitally connected. This has helped Ukraine win the social media war.
Sometimes the System Creates Its Own Television
Some anti-tank systems lend themselves to social media by the way they are designed. The Stugna-P has a video-display for targeting the missile. Another soldier simply has to record the Stugna’s screen to chronicle the kill shot and upload it to Twitter. Take a look…
2 more #Russian tanks destroyed by #Ukraine’s Stugna anti-tank missile.#ZforZombies #GenocideOfUkrainians #PutinAxisOfEvil#PutinWarCrimes #PutinWarCriminal #Ukraine #Russia #US #France #Canada #Germany #Poland pic.twitter.com/GePbwXPK9v
— HardWorkingMan (@globaldotcom) March 18, 2022
Here’s the Stugna-P destroying four Russian tanks in three minutes…
??Ukraine, district of the city of Izyum. The calculation of the Stugna-P anti-tank missile system destroyed four russian tanks in three minutes. I repeat: 4 tanks in 3 minutes! Who says that the russian army is the second army in the world? ? pic.twitter.com/UikVS5krjN
— Yuri Bark (@YuriBark) April 26, 2022
The following video is highly-instructive. It shows how an anti-tank missile takes an upward trajectory toward the target and then swoops downward to strike the vehicle’s weak point – the turret. These tanks don’t have a chance.
— UKRAINE LIVE ?? (@defensesentinel) March 18, 2022
The downside of war on social media is that it could make the defenders and the world over-confident in the belief that Ukraine is easily winning. The coverage has been mostly one-sided leaning significantly toward the success of the Ukrainian army. But one thing is certain, video on Twitter and TikTok will continue to be replete with carnage and this will keep the world’s eyeballs on the war. The Ukrainians do not want anyone to forget how well they are fighting and how they have the moral high ground against an unjust enemy.
Now serving as 1945’s Defense and National Security Editor, Brent M. Eastwood, PhD, is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood.