Video: Russian T-72B Destroyed in Ukraine – In a video shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) on Monday, a destroyed Russian T-72B could be seen near Avdiivka in the Donetsk Oblast – the scene of intense fighting in recent weeks.
What We Know: AT4 Attack?
The 21-second-long video didn’t actually show the tank coming under fire, but it appears that Ukrainian forces seen in a small bunker on the frontlines had used a man-portable anti-tank weapon to target and destroy the vechicle.
In the clip, the T-72B is seen smoldering, while a Ukrainian trooper playfully waves at the camera.
Behind him is an AT4 anti-tank launcher – a one-shot “wonder weapon” that is now among the commonly used man-portable tank killers in service around the world.
Originally developed by Förenade Fabriksverken (FFV) and manufactured at their facility at Zakrisdal, Karlstad, Sweden, the AT4 took many design elements from the Swedish military’s Carl Gustaf 8.4cm recoilless rifle.
However, the disposable weapon was designed around a reinforced smoothbore fiberglass outer tube.
It can be easily operated by a single soldier.
It is now manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics and remains among the most cost-effective platforms for infantry to destroy an enemy tank.
Depending on the model, the AT4 has a range of 200 to 600 meters, while it is capable of penetrating rolled homogenous armor (RHA) up to 420mm (17.5 inches) thick.
#Ukraine: A Russian T-72B tank was destroyed by Ukrainian forces near Avdiivka, #Donetsk Oblast. pic.twitter.com/YLf1vkjkfY
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 13, 2023
Another One Bites the Dust
Avidiivka is the site of ongoing fighting in the Russo-Ukrainian War, and it was among the first places to be attacked when Russia launched its unprovoked invasion more than a year ago.
As the city has been almost completely destroyed, currently just 10 percent of its pre-war population has remained in the region.
As of this month, Avidiivka is still under Ukrainian control.
The area is also a graveyard of Russian tanks, and the newly destroyed T-72B is now just one of the hundreds that litter the countryside.
Russia has reportedly lost dozens of vehicles, including seven tanks and six armored personnel carriers (APCs) in recent days and upwards of another 1,000 troops over the weekend as righting rages in the Donbas region.
Though not independently verified, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has claimed that Russia’s casualties have exceeded 156,990 dead since the fighting began on February 24, 2022.
The toll in manpower is notable, but so too is the number of Russian tanks destroyed. David Axe, writing for Forbes.com on Sunday, was among the reporters who have suggested that the Kremlin is now running out of T-72s, its most widely employed main battle tank (MBT).
As a result, Russia has been forced to employ its newly-mobilized tank battalions with obsolete T-62 and T-80B MBTs.
Though newer than the T-72, the T-80 is considered to be a far more complicated machine that is harder to manufacture and even harder to service in the field.
The T-62 is a truly antiquated piece of hardware that was largely retired from the Soviet arsenal and is only now being returned to service to bolster Russia’s tank numbers.
As a result of the decision to send these old tanks to a new fight, we’ll likely continue to see similar vehicles of burning hulks spewn across the fields of Ukraine.
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.