WATCH: Ukrainian Troops Destroy Russian Tank In Donetsk – Video footage shared online this week shows how Ukrainian forces successfully destroyed a Russian T-80BV tank somewhere in Donetsk Oblast.
The video, shared by the Ukrainian military and reposted to Twitter by Ukraine Weapons Tracker, shows a low-frame-rate video of the Russian tank hidden behind a row of trees at the edge of a farm field. The field in front of the tank is dotted with craters caused by artillery fire exchanges, and the tank is visibly on fire.
Tall plumes of grey smoke can also be seen billowing from the top of the tank.
The size of the fire could indicate that onboard ammunition caught fire when the tank was struck by a Ukrainian missile or artillery fire.
“The Ukrainian 110th TDF Brigade and 44th Artillery Brigade destroyed a Russian T-80BV tank in #Donetsk Oblast,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular Twitter-based war-tracking outlet, writes.
Ukraine War Update: Is Russia Targeting Donetsk A Ploy to Take Bakhmut?
While Donetsk Oblast is one of the regions of Ukraine that Russia first set its sights on in February of last year, the British Ministry of Defence believes that Russian troops may be specifically targeting Donetsk to distract Ukrainian soldiers from the fighting taking place in the city of Bakhmut.
In an intelligence update shared on January 31, the Ministry of Defence revealed how Russian forces appear to have turned probing attacks near the towns of Pavlivka and Vuhledar into a “more concerted assault.”
Russian commanders are likely aiming to develop a new axis of advance into Ukrainian-held Donetsk Oblast, and to divert Ukrainian forces from the heavily contested Bakhmut sector,” the update continues, adding that there is a “realistic possibility” Russian forces will continue to make local gains in the area.
British intelligence officials believe, however, that Russia will still struggle to make gains in Bakhmut even if some Ukrainian brigades are distracted in Donetsk Oblast.
“However, it is unlikely that Russia has sufficient uncommitted troops in the area to achieve an operationally significant breakthrough,” it reads.
The news follows months of intense fighting in Bakhmut, and weeks of particularly serious fighting that saw Russian forces attempting to take control of surrounding towns like Soledar.
Russian forces, even with the help of Wagner Group private mercenaries, have ultimately failed to make the kinds of gains they need around Bakhmut to successfully take control of the city.
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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.