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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

How Ukraine Is Becoming One Massive Tank Graveyard

Russian Tank. Screenshot from video.

Video footage shared online recently shows Ukrainian tanks on the battlefield fighting tanks operated by soldiers from the self-described Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).

A dramatic series of videos and photographs were shared on Telegram, and later on Twitter, by war analyst Rob Lee, showing the Russian/DNR tanks fighting in the Pervomaiske region in Mykolaiv Oblast.

One video shared by the Ukrainian Military Chronicle Telegram account described how Ukrainian forces occupied residential houses in the settlement as they worked to clear the village of a military threat.

“Ukrainian militants occupied the residential houses of the settlement. The work to clear the village was complicated by the good preparation of the Armed Forces,” the post reads.

“The nationalists equipped basements, turned them into a number of bases. A serious obstacle was also the minimal amount of blind spots between enemy fortification nodes.”

The video, which was accompanied by dramatic music – as are many videos of this type shared online – offers a first-person look at fighting in the Pervomaiske region.

One part of the video shows a tank underneath an overpass firing artillery at distant targets, while footage from a rotary-blade UAV shows the fighting taking place from above. Infrared cameras also emphasize the extent of the damage and show how two tanks fire at one another from a distance.

Later in the clip, the same tank can be seen driving along a dirt road, continuing to fire at enemy tanks in a destroyed woodland.

As with many videos of this kind, geolocation experts on Twitter also discovered the exact location of the fighting, noting that it took place at 48.070714,37.651812 on the “exposed flank of the advance towards Pervomaiske from North Pisky.”

Additional video footage – an extension of the first clip – shows more of the damage on the battlefield. The video shows a tank firing as it travels down dirt paths.

War analyst Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, described how the video shows the launch of what appears to be rocket-propelled grenades as opposed to Javelin missiles.

“Second part of the video shows the DNR tanks coming under Ukrainian artillery fire. The video shows the launch of what appears to be an RPG (it didn’t have a soft launch so it wasn’t a Javelin),” Lee noted.

The videos come following reports of Russian strikes in the coastal region of Ochakiv in Mykolaiv this week.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He 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.