An incredible piece of video footage that emerged on social media this week shows how Ukrainian forces were able to take out two tanks in quick succession, with one strike hitting both tanks at the same time.
What We Know
One tank is stationary while another, which appears to be emitting smoke as it moves, travels closer and closer to the stationary tank.
The moment that the moving tank reaches the stationary vehicle, a Ukrainian landmine detonates and hits both tanks at the same time.
Large chunks of metal are seen flying into the air, and the moving tanks continues to move for a little while until it appears to get stuck in some trees. Little information was offered alongside the video, though when shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker on Twitter, it was suggested that the incident occurred somewhere in Vuhledar, Donetsk Oblast.
The smoke seen being emitted from the moving tank in the first seconds of the video could be indicative of the tank firing ammunition, Ukrainian forces firing at the tank, or perhaps the T-80BV tank’s smoke screen feature being triggered. The feature is designed to make it more difficult for the tank to be seen during combat.
Given that the smoke appears to be emitted from the sides of the turret, rather from the end, it is more likely that the tank was either malfunctioning or was being targeted by Ukrainian fire.
Russia Adding Low-Quality Equipment to Tanks?
Forbes reported on February 9 that Russia’s efforts to refurbish decades-old tanks are still underway but that many of the T-72 and T-80 tanks being prepared for the battlefield are also being fitted with optics from the 1970s.
According to the report, Russian T-80 tanks are arriving on the battlefield with the 1pN96MT-02 thermal gunner sights previously fitted to refurbished T-72s.
Russia has little choice to use the older equipment and parts, however, as Western sanctions make it increasingly difficult for Russia to find the modern technology required to make tanks capable of fighting Ukraine’s NATO-standard weapons on the battlefield.
“The 1PN96MT-02 would’ve been state-of-the-art … in the 1970s. It allows a skilled gunner to engage a target as far as two miles away.
That’s just over half the maximum range of the newer, digital Sonsa-U sight that equips the latest T-90 tanks, as well as a few upgraded T-80s and T-72s,” Forbes writer David Axe writes.
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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.