The footage, shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker and other Ukraine and Russia-focused social media accounts this week, shows how Ukraine’s 80th Air Assault Brigade destroyed two Russian T-90A tanks with ease.
After being struck by the U.S.-supplied anti-tank guided missiles, the tanks remain on fire for quite some time, sending plumes of black smoke into the air.
The same footage was also shared by Blue Sauron, a popular military-focused Twitter account currently providing coverage of the conflict in Ukraine.
“Drone filming a huge ammo detonation after what is said to be a Russian T-90 MBT was struck by Ukrainian FGM-148 Javelin, another MBT (also claimed to be a T-90) can be seen burning, from the recent work of the Ukrainian 80th Air Assault Brigade,” the account writes.
With so many keen trackers monitoring the conflict in Ukraine, the location of the strike was quickly identified, too. By locating landmarks seen in the footage, the “GeoConfirmed” Twitter account soon revealed the location as approximately 49.021625, 37.509201 in Bohorodychne, in Donetsk Oblast.
Javelins A Success, But Ukrainians Don’t Know How to Fix Them
U.S.-supplied Javelin missiles have proven one of the most valuable assets for the Ukrainian military so far, with a stream of videos being released in recent weeks showing Russian armored vehicles and tanks being destroyed, burnt, and torn to shreds by the missiles.
The shoulder-fired weapon is easy to transport and has a devastating impact on Russia’s increasingly dated vehicles being deployed to Ukraine. More than 5,500 Javelin missiles have been sent to Ukraine so far, too, meaning the military has plenty of them to go around.
#Ukraine: What happens when FGM-148 Javelin meets Russian armor: the 80th Air Assault Brigade of Ukraine reports the destruction of two Russian T-90A tanks using US-supplied ATGMs – after being hit both fiercely cooked off. pic.twitter.com/XdAO9Qdlep
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 15, 2022
But even with such a large number of Javelin missiles available to the Ukrainians, the fact that the weapon is so new to Ukrainian troops means that fixing the weapons – or even troubleshooting minor problems – has become a real problem.
One U.S. Army veteran told the Washington Post recently that Ukrainian forces have resorted to cannibalizing video game controllers to use with various U.S.- supplied weapons, and using (often inaccurate) Google translations of instruction manuals to understand how to operate Javelin missiles.
Mark Hayward told the Washington Post that Javelins sent to Ukraine don’t include instruction cards directing Ukrainian military personnel to a toll-free number to provide help when the missiles malfunction or need simple repairs. Hayward said that a toll-free number is generally standard practice when supplying new weapons to foreign militaries, but was for some reason not included in recent shipments of NATO-standard weapons to Ukraine.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.