Putin’s war in Ukraine – according to many experts and pundits – was only to last weeks with a big Russian victory.
And yet, thanks to the courage of the Ukrainian people and billions of dollars in Western arms, Moscow is clearly on the back foot and in serious trouble.
What will happen next? How will Putin respond? We know one thing: social media will give us lots of data points to pour over.
Ukrainian Special Forces Destroyed Multiple Russian Vehicles in Drone Attack – According to the social media account for the Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons), two Russian T-80BV main battle tanks (MBTs), a T-72B-series tank and a BRM-1K recon vehicle were destroyed in a recent drone strike.
What We Know
The SSO can take on a number of roles including direct action, special reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, sabotage, and psychological warfare.
Back in March, members of the SBU “Alpha” SSO reportedly utilized low-flying drones equipped with thermal optics to attack a Russian armored column.
Over the past year, the Ukrainian Army’s Special Group Alpha had conducted a number of daring raids against the Russian military.
Last Novembers units of the elite forces had been credited with neutralizing three Russian infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in the Kharkiv region.
A month earlier they had aided in the liberation of a number of villages that had been occupied by the Kremlin’s troops since the start of the war.
Destruction of More Russian Tanks
This model first entered service in 1985.
It is an improved model of the Cold War-era T-80 that was developed in the early 1970s and adopted by the Soviet Army in 1976.
It was considered to be a significant step forward at the time, as it was only the second MBT to be equipped with a gas turbine engine, after the Swedish-made Strv 103. Some 5,500 T-80s in all models have been produced.
And in addition to service with the Soviet Army, it was exported to Cyprus, Egypt, Pakistan, and even South Korea after the end of the Cold War.
Vast numbers of T-80BVs, which featured a number of enhancements including reactive armor, were still in operation at the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
In Russian Army service, the platform has been further upgraded, and that has included the introduction of an improved 125mm main gun, along with a more powerful 1,250 hp gas turbine engine. The upgraded MBT has also been equipped with a multi-channel gunner sight, a mechanic driver’s vision device, and an armament stabilizer.
It is also reinforced with slat and modular reactive armor.
Despite those upgrades, it clearly isn’t “drone proof” however – a fact noted in this recent strike.
#Ukraine: Two Russian T-80BV tanks, a T-72B-series tank and a BRM-1K recon vehicle were destroyed by the SBU “Alpha” SSO using munitions dropped from a drone equipped with thermal optics.
At least two more tanks and two other vehicles were also struck. pic.twitter.com/ZxGwIVKpQl
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 4, 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.