The war in Ukraine continues to get more intense with each passing day.
And now that the West seems poised to send F-16 fighters to Ukraine, we could see Kyiv gain a key advantage.
While who wins isn’t clear, we know social media will give us some important clues.
There seems to be no shortage of written stories and video footage alike of Russian armored vehicles – main battle tanks (MBTs) and armored personnel carriers (APCs)/infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) alike – meeting a fiery death in Ukraine.
And thanks to Twitter, we have yet another snippet released back in February of such dramatic footage that once again demonstrates the quagmire that has besmirched Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” in that ever-defiant nation.
Ukraine War Video: What We Know
The Twitter account in question is under the username Ukraine Weapons Tracker (“@UAWeapons”), with the caption reading as follows: “#Ukraine: Another Russian BMP-2 IFV was destroyed by Ukrainian forces at the infamous crossing point in Mykilske near Vuhledar, #Donetsk Oblast- apparently by running over an anti-tank mine and being hit by an ATGM.”
The entire video clip, released a few months back, lasts exactly one minute, accompanied by a soundtrack consisting of a techno song that sounds like it’s tied in with the Mortal Kombat video game and film franchise.
The initial detonation of an apparent landmine occurs at the 8-second mark, followed by a second explosion – another landline(?) – at 16 seconds.
Amazingly, in spite of the size of those first two explosions, the IFV keeps going…until the 38-second mark, when a third explosion occurs, this evidently being the antitank guided missile, seeing as how this proved to be the final knockout blow for the “Bimp,” (to use a Western slang term for ir), which finally rolls to a smoldering halt at 00:46.
BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty) Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) Brief History and Specifics
The BMP-2 is the only weapons system that has been positively identified in that Twitter’s post’s caption/blurb, therefore I shall focus most of my technical specifications upon it for the time being.
It’s a second-generation, amphibious IFV that first went into production in 1980 and entered into official operational service with the Red Army that same year, and improved on the BMP-1 that had been in service since 1966, with both models ending up being severely combat-tested during the Soviet-Afghan War.
Specifications-wise, the BMP-2 is a 14-ton tracked vehicle with a crew of three and a carrying capacity of up to seven infantry soldiers.
Armament with a 30mm autocannon and a 9K113 Konkurs antitank guided missile launcher – one of the most successful anti-tank weapons ever developed by the Soviet Union — which launches a 14.5 kilogram (31,96 lb.) missile with a 2.7 kg (5.95 lb) warhead that can penetrate up to 670mm of armor.
As for the IFV’s survivability, its own steel armor provides all-round protection against 12.7 mm rounds.
“However,” as noted by my 19FortyFive colleague Peter Suciu in a separate article on yet another BMP death, “it offers little protection from landmines – as noted in the recent video!”
So Then, Who’s (What’s) the Killer?
The video blurb doesn’t give any specifics about the “ATGM” that killed the BMP-2 or the launching platform that fired said antitank-guided missile.
Judging by the lack of crosshairs or infrared imagery in the video clip, the video is evidently not gun camera footage, i.e. the photographic platform and the missile launch platform are not one and the same, which therefore precludes either an Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunship or a Bayraktar drone.
It could just as easily be either the Swedish-made Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW) or the American-made FGM-148 Javelin.
All of this is educated guesswork and the best representation of what we can piece together. What is not mere speculation, however, is that yet another Russian armored vehicle’s shattered corpse litters a Ukrainian field.
#Ukraine: Another Russian BMP-2 IFV was destroyed by Ukrainian forces at the infamous crossing point in Mykilske near Vuhledar, #Donetsk Oblast- apparently by running over an anti-tank mine and being hit by an ATGM. pic.twitter.com/twvYwl3T84
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) February 27, 2023
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Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force Security Forces officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon). Chris holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California (USC) and an M.A. in Intelligence Studies (concentration in Terrorism Studies) from American Military University (AMU). He has also been published in The Daily Torch and The Journal of Intelligence and Cyber Security. Last but not least, he is a Companion of the Order of the Naval Order of the United States (NOUS).