A video clip posted by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) highlighted the destruction of a Russian T-72 main battle tank (MBT) in the Donbas region.
The footage, believed to have been recorded earlier in the week, purported to show the Ukrainian 10th Mountain Assault Brigade destroying the Russian MBT with a Stugna-P ATGM strike.
The tank was left fuming at the end of the one-minute and eight-second video.
No survivors could be seen – while commentators noted, it isn’t exactly a good time to be part of a Russian tank crew.
The incident had occurred in the vicinity of Bilohorivka on the border of Donetsk Oblast, the site of heavy fighting since last September – and it remains the last part of the Luhansk Oblast still under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
As a result, Russian forces have recently concentrated their attacks on the villages of Bilohorivka and Kreminna.
The Stugna-P ATGM
The recent destruction of the T-72 is also noteworthy as it involved the Skif Stugna-P ATGM – a Ukrainian anti-tank guided missile system that was developed domestically at the Luch Design Bureau.
The platform, which was designed to destroy modern armored targets, consists of a tripod, missile container, remote control panel guidance device, and thermographic camera (thermal imager).
There are two firing modes including manually steered and automated fire-and-forget – the latter relying on an automatic control using a targeting laser beam. It has a daytime range of about five kilometers (three miles) but it isn’t clear how far away the Ukrainian team was when it destroyed the T-72.
Costly Engagements in Ukraine
Moreover, the tank destroyed in the recent video certainly wasn’t alone. According to reports from the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces on Thursday, more than 1,000 Russian troops had been killed in just the prior 24 hours. In addition, the Kremlin had lost a dozen tanks and eleven armored vehicles in the same period.
The claims of such staggering losses follow a similar report from last weekend in which Kyiv said another 1,090 Russian troops had been killed last week.
Though these figures haven’t been independently verified, Western estimates have been generally close in overall numbers. As a result, the total number of Russian dead could now exceed 200,000.
The fighting in Ukraine’s Donbas has been the most brutal of any modern conflict – and as Forbes.com reported, Russian forces are attacking along several axes yet are making almost no progress except along the Ukrainian flanks.
U.S. officials have recently estimated that Russia’s total causalities – killed and wounded – was approaching 200,000, while data from the Independent Conflict Intelligence Team suggested the numbers were closer to 270,000.
In addition to the staggering human toll, total tank losses for Moscow could now exceed 3,500, which explains why the Kremlin has been forced to call up antiquated T-62 tanks to replace the more modern MBTs lost in the recent fighting.
#Ukraine: The Ukrainian 10th Mountain Assault Brigade destroyed a Russian T-72 series tank with a Stugna-P ATGM strike in the vicinity of Bilohorivka, #Donetsk Oblast. After being hit, the tank cooked off. pic.twitter.com/BrOTHLjgVQ
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 15, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.