VIDEO: Russian Tank In Flames In Vuhledar – As fighting intensifies in the Vuhledar region of eastern Ukraine, dramatic video footage was shared on social media this week showing how Ukrainian troops were able to take out a Russian tank using a grenade dropped from a drone.
The tactic of dropping conventional grenades from unmanned aerial vehicles is not new and has been deployed by both the Ukrainians and Russians throughout the war.
Typically, soldiers resort to these tactics in the absence of more sophisticated equipment, but in this case, it proved to be the absolute ideal way of destroying the tank quickly.
In the video, recorded by the drone itself, a Russian tank can be seen parked on a dirt road somewhere near Vuhledar in Donetsk Oblast.
The driver’s hatch on the top of the hull of the tank is wide open, allowing the drone to drop the grenade directly into the center of the tank and quickly drive away.
Moments later, the tank can be seen on fire. Smoke billows out of the end of the turret as well as from the hatch.
The flames grow bigger and bigger, indicating that the interior of the tank – and possibly some of the ammunition left on board – also caught fire.
Given that the footage doesn’t show a Russian soldier escaping the vehicle, it could well be the case that the tank was abandoned.
The video was uploaded by a Ukrainian volunteer fighter who goes by the handle @AlexBondODUA.
The clip was reuploaded by the popular war tracking account Ukraine Weapons Tracker.
“In the vicinity of Vuhledar, #Donetsk Oblast, a Russian T-72B3 tank was destroyed by Ukrainian forces- using a RGD-5 grenade dropped right through the driver’s hatch,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes.
Why Destroy Abandoned Tanks?
Even if the tank was abandoned, there is an important purpose behind attacks like these.
Ukrainian soldiers who may have no way of recovering abandoned Russian tanks often choose to destroy the tanks entirely, rather than leave a vehicle or weapon that can be easily repaired on the battlefield.
The tank was presumably struck by other Ukrainian artillery or missile strikes previously, prompting the Russian operators to abandon the vehicle and leave.
Dropping a grenade inside of the vehicle ensures that it cannot be easily repaired and recovered by Russian soldiers who may well gain ground in Vuhledar in the coming weeks and months.
Dropping a grenade directly into the vehicle is also one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of destroying an enemy vehicle.
You can watch the full video here.
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.