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Ukrainian Special Operations Forces Release Video Said to Show Kamikaze Drone Taking out Russian Tank

Switchblade drone. Image Credit: Industry handout.

In a first for the Ukrainian military, its Special Operations Forces released a video of a foreign-made loitering munition, also known as a kamikaze or suicide drone, that appeared to neutralize a Russian tank.

The 44-second video posted on Tuesday by Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces to Facebook shows an overview of a Russian position. Moments later, a tank is engulfed in an explosive fireball, which turns to a plume of smoke.

The footage then pivots to a point-of-view angle showing the scene from the drone’s perspective as it barrels downward toward the Russian tank. A green square can be seen in the middle of the video, fixed on the tank and the Russian troops sitting atop the armored vehicle, indicating the drone’s target.

As can be seen in the following graphic video, the screen goes dark right before the drone hits the tank.

“A modern kamikaze drone, equipped with a powerful explosive, flew straight into the tank, causing irreparable damage to the enemy,” Ukraine said on Facebook.

Ukraine said the footage was captured by a camera on the drone. It added that the Russians operating the tank were killed. Russia has suffered significant losses since it launched its unprovoked war against Ukraine in February.

At the end of the video, text reading “Executive Producer Switchblade” flashes across the screen.

Switchblade drones are loitering munitions packed with explosives. They can remain airborne until a target is identified and then slam into it, detonating the explosives, and they are among the lethal-aid items given by the US to Ukraine as part of security-assistance packages.

Ukraine said on Facebook that the “video is published to the general public for the first time, but it is worth noting that the combat use of kamikaze UAVs is a regular practice.”

“This is a good example of how the help of foreign partners together with the training and professionalism of our soldiers give positive results at the front,” the post added.

In the background of the video, Ukraine placed instrumental music from “Star Wars” leading up to the strike. After the screen goes black, the music pivots to the theme song from the American sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Throughout Russia’s three-month war, Ukraine has repeatedly published propaganda videos of various attacks on Russian forces and positions set to a wide variety of music — which can be seen as a bid to try to normalize the killing of the invading Russian troops.

Translations were provided by Nikita Angarski.

Jake Epstein is a Junior Breaking News Reporter on the Speed Desk, based in Boston.

Written By

Jake Epstein is a Junior Breaking News Reporter on the Speed Desk, based in Boston.