Just because a piece of Russian armor is abandoned does not mean Putin and his war machine can’t bring it back to life.
What does Ukraine do when Moscow leaves ‘dead’ armor? They are often forced to destroy it to ensure Russia does not try to repair it.
And that means social media is filled with countless examples of Kyiv using drones to ensure these dead tanks and armored weapons stay dead. We like to think of them as putting ‘zombie’ pieces of armor out of their misery.
Dead Armor for Putin in Ukraine
The video clip, shared by the Ukrainian military on Telegram and later reposted to Twitter, shows several attempted strikes on the vehicle from the perspective of the drone used to conduct the strikes.
The clip shows a quick montage of several drones being dropped from the grenade, with several attempts failing to directly strike the disabled vehicle.
Eventually, one of the grenades hits, and the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle explodes and bursts into flames. As the operator attempts to take out the vehicle, the grenades can be seen striking the exterior armor on the vehicle, repeatedly missing or failing to detonate upon impact.
According to Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular war-tracking Twitter account, the Ukrainian drone operator was from the 110th Mechanized Brigade. The ammunition used in the attack were high-explosive dual-purpose grenades.
“#Ukraine: Near Opytne, #Donetsk Oblast, an abandoned Russian BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle was destroyed by the Ukrainian 110th Mechanized Brigade using a number of 40x53mm HEDP grenades dropped by drones,” the post reads.
More specifically, the 40x53mm HV grenade is designed for use in automatic grenade launchers, including the STK 40 AGL, Mk 47 Striker, HK GMG, Mk. 19 AGL, and the Daewoo K4.
The practice of destroying abandoned military hardware is common and serves an important purpose. While the vehicle may pose no immediate threat to Ukrainian forces, it may be useful for Russian troops in some ways. If the vehicle was abandoned because Russian forces were rushed out of the position previously, it may later be recovered if Russian troops regain ground.
If the vehicle was abandoned because it is too seriously damaged to function, it may later be repaired and redeployed to the battlefield, or it may even be used for spare parts. By destroying the vehicle with grenades, Ukrainian forces ensure that it cannot simply be reused in the future.
In many cases, Ukrainian forces will also capture abandoned Russian vehicles. The fact that Ukrainian troops did not claim the BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle for themselves could indicate that it is too severely damaged. It could also suggest that it would simply be too dangerous for troops to attempt to capture it.
#Ukraine: Near Opytne, #Donetsk Oblast, an abandoned Russian BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle was destroyed by the Ukrainian 110th Mechanized Brigade using a number of 40x53mm HEDP grenades dropped by drones. pic.twitter.com/vfLf87uMfb
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 1, 2023
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.