See This – Russian Tanks Destroyed in Donetsk: A video posted to social media on Thursday morning showed a pair of Russian main battle tanks (MBTs) being targeted by loitering munitions.
At the end of the nine-second clip, shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAEwapons), one of the tanks was seen burning while it also appeared the other vehicle had taken significant damage.
The MBTs were identified as T-72/T-80, and drone-dropped munitions destroyed them.
The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were reported to have been operated by the SBU “Alpha” SSO – the elite Ukrainian Spetsnaz group branch of the Security Service of Ukraine.
Group Alpha has played a crucial role in the war against Russia, and that has included carrying out ambushes of enemy convoys.
The Alpha Group previously took part in combat operations in the defense of the city of Kharkiv, during the Northeastern Ukraine campaign; and later it took part in the liberation of several Ukrainian settlements during last fall’s counteroffensive.
The unit has also conducted operations to capture fifth columnists, Russian sympathizers, spies, and infiltrators.
The ordnance employed against the Russian tanks was reported based on the PG-7L HEAT RPG projectile – a 93mm HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead that was designed to be effective against most vehicles and fortified targets.
It was originally designed for use with the Soviet-era RPG-7 (Ruchnoy Protivotankoviy Granatomyot) portable, reusable, unguided, shoulder-launched anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The two MBTs were also reportedly destroyed in the Donetsk Oblast. This region has seen ongoing fighting since parts of it came under the control of Russian-backed separatists who have declared the Donetsk People’s Republic.
Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion in February 2022, the Donetsk region has been the site of heavy fighting.
Last fall, Moscow declared the annexation of the entirety of the oblast along with three other regions – though the annexation remains internationally unrecognized. Yet, currently, only about half of the Donetsk Oblast is under Russian control.
It could also be described as a graveyard of Russian tanks.
#Ukraine: In #Donetsk Oblast, two more Russian T-72/T-80 tanks were destroyed by the SBU “Alpha” SSO using drone-dropped munitions based on PG-7L HEAT RPG projectiles. pic.twitter.com/j6r3S6eWD9
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 23, 2023
According to reports from Ukrainian media outlets, SBU forces – known as the “White Wolves” – destroyed ten tanks in the region just last week.
Aerial footage filmed by drones showed a column of tanks come under attack, confirming that a significant number of vehicles were lost in just one strike.
Russia’s tank losses have been so great in Ukraine that the Kremlin responded by sending a significant number of Cold War-era T-62s to the front lines to bolster its armored forces.
And as previously reported, just this week even older vehicles, including the T-54/55 series tanks, were seen loaded onto train cars and heading from long-term storage facilities.
While it hasn’t been confirmed that those tanks will in fact be headed to the frontlines, even if for training purposes, it could speak of the desperation Moscow now faces in its futile war in 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.