Ukraine is a war like no other – the first major nation-on-nation war of a size and scale that hasn’t been seen in Europe since World War II ended in 1945.
And things could get worse still. There is constant talk that NATO and Russia could someday exchange blows – likely starting World War III.
What does this all mean? Keep your eyes on social media, as there we can get near real-time information on what is occurring on the ground.
Social Media and the Ukraine War
Video shared on social media in early March showed the K2 Unit of the Ukrainian 54th Brigade flying an improvised “first-person-view” (FPV) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) directly into the commander’s hatch of a moving Russian T-80BV main battle tank (MBT).
However, it was speculated the tank was disabled and the crew was killed in the attack.
What We Know
The 45-second-long video was shared by the Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) social media account and has been seen more than 437,000 times.
The authenticity of the clip hasn’t been independently verified, but it is believed to be real.
It would also be the third T-80BV MBT to be destroyed in a drone strike in as many days.
The exact location of the MBT also wasn’t clear, but online reports suggest the T-80BV may have been in the Donbas region near Siversk, a Ukrainian city in the Bakhmut district.
It was traveling down a road in open country when the drone targeted the vehicle.
The tank crew probably had little idea that it was being shadowed by the loitering munitions.
Unlike other attacks on enemy tanks, this strike is notable in that it successfully hit a moving target, with the drone slowing as it approached and then flying into position at the commander’s hatch.
The 54th Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Ground Forces is part of the Operational Command East and is based in Bakhmut.
It had previously fought in the War in Donbas and has been engaged on the frontlines since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion last year. In December, the brigade was awarded the medal “For Courage and Bravery” by presidential decree.
Heavy Fighting – 21st Century “Stalingrad”
The struggle for control of the city has been compared to that of the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War, where German forces sought to capture the city only to be encircled by the Soviet Red Army.
The battle was seen as a turning point on the Russian Front, which resulted in a slow push-back of German forces.
Though it is unlikely that the Kremlin’s troops could face a similar encirclement now that Moscow has taken the city, it threw its troops and armored vehicles into a proverbial meat grinder with little to show for it as the city has been destroyed.
#Ukraine: The K2 Unit of the Ukrainian 54th Brigade flew an improvised FPV loitering munition right into the Commander’s Hatch of a moving Russian T-80BV.
Unfortunately, the extent of damage is unclear. pic.twitter.com/iw1LdX0Dtx
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 6, 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.