See the Damage Done to Two Modern Russian Tanks – Video footage shared online this week and reposted by Ukraine Weapons Tracker shows two very modern Russian tanks left completely destroyed somewhere near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast.
The tanks are immediately recognizable as Russian, thanks to the large “Z” symbols painted on the side of both vehicles.
The footage starts by showing one tank, reportedly a T-72B3, left in an extraordinary state – with the turret completely blown off from the main body of the vehicle and lying upside-down on the ground.
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) December 12, 2022
The first tank’s tracks are also completely warped, the armor destroyed, and the inside of the tank clearly visible. (Note: If the video does not load, please click here to view)
The second vehicle is in a similar state of damage, right beside the first vehicle and surrounded by craters in the ground. The video seems to suggest that the first tank took the brunt of the damage in a Ukrainian artillery or missile strike, while the second vehicle was damaged by strikes that perhaps occurred immediately next to the vehicle.
“Two Russian T-72B3 Obr. 2016 tanks were destroyed by the Ukrainian Army in the vicinity of Bakhmut, #Donetsk Oblast,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes.
T-72B3 An Upgraded Cold War Tank
The T-72B3 tank is an updated version of the T-72B, which was originally designed in preparation for a Third World War during the Cold War. The T-72 first came about in 1971 and was designed to go up against NATO weapons in the 20th century.
The tank was designed to have a low profile, theoretically making it harder to destroy, and also featured an auto-loading system for ammunition designed to give the crew more time to work on acquiring targets and driving the tank. The original; version of the tank was produced in huge numbers – some 17,000, in fact – and has since seen many upgrades to make it more effective on the battlefield in the 21st century.
The T-72B3 was upgraded in 2013 and built through 2016, and comes with a range of new features. From a new engine to new armor, the tank is designed to go up against some of NATO’s best modern weapons – which is what makes the video shared above so fascinating.
This latest version of the tank features explosive reactive armor, which should theoretically protect the vehicle from artillery strikes. However, the armor cannot protect against a barrage of strikes in quick succession.
The tank also comes with cage armor which protects the hull and turret.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.