“A Russian T-80BVM tank was destroyed by the artillery of the Ukrainian 58th Motorized Brigade in the area of Shypylivka, #Luhansk Oblast,” the post to Twitter noted.
The village of Shypylivka was the site of heavy fighting earlier this year; and was among the locations where the Armed Forces of Ukraine had repelled multiple waves of Russian attacks directed at nearly two dozen settlements in the Luhansk Oblast of Eastern Ukraine. Though the village had a pre-war population of around 500 people, it has been nearly wiped off the face of the earth in the fighting. No structures are believed to remain standing, and the entire populace has fled the settlement.
Fighting in the region has now largely turned into a giant artillery slug match – including constant barrages and artillery duels that resemble the fighting on the Western Front during the First World War.
But with a high-tech twist.
The Ukrainian Ground Forces’ 58th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade, which has been active in the region since it was raised in February 2015, has regularly relied on drones to provide “real-time” intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). Its artillery units utilize UAVs to aid in the targeting of enemy positions and to ensure that Russian armor isn’t able to make a breakthrough.
One Fewer T-80BVM in Ukraine
In this case, the lone T-80BVM appeared to have been successfully targeted and subsequently destroyed in the wooded ground near the frontlines. The loss of even a single T-80BVM should be seen as a significant blow to the Kremlin.
It is an upgraded version of the Cold War-era T-80BV MBT that was first publicly revealed in 2017. Designed for the Soviet Army, Russia inherited approximately 4,500 T-80 MBTs – but due to the high operational costs, most have been kept in reserve.
However, Russia began to deploy the T-80s to Ukraine last year to bolster its forces as it had lost thousands of modernized T-72s, and an unknown number of even more modern T-90s. Russia has been upgrading its T-80 and T-90 MBTs with Arena-M Active Protection System (APS), developed by the High Precision Systems holding company. The APS is an ad hoc solution to protect tanks from projectiles, anti-tank grenades, and guided missiles.
The destruction of the Russian T-80BVM could also be payback for Ukraine’s loss of the now famous “Bunny” – another tank of the same class that was captured by the Ukrainian 93rd Mechanized Brigade in March 2022. Returned to service, it had reportedly scored many “kills” until it was disabled in fighting last week. Unable to recover “Bunny,” its Ukrainian crew was forced to set the tank on fire to keep it from being recaptured by Russian forces.
#Ukraine: A Russian MT-12 Rapira 100mm anti-tank gun along with a Ural ammo truck were destroyed by the Ukrainian 40th Artillery Brigade in cooperation with the 10th Mountain Brigade near Bilohorivka, #Donetsk Oblast.
Two more MT-12 were also damaged by artillery fire. pic.twitter.com/oEx3ULdcnO
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) April 19, 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.