The war in Ukraine is now entering an even more destructive phase. Both sides are dug in, and there is no let-up in the fighting.
And, of course, it seems like tanks are getting destroyed at a record pace – most of which are on the Russian side.
At what point does Putin maybe even run out of tanks? Social media has all of the clues we need:
The War in Ukraine Is All Over Social Media – With Dead Tanks
The video, shared on TikTok by the @pixeldronstudio account, was later reposted to Twitter by popular war-tracking Twitter account Ukraine Weapons Tracker.
The clip starts by showing the tank stationary in what appears to be a formerly residential road. The tank’s hull is completely engulfed in flames, with large plumes of grey smoke billowing out of the top of the vehicle.
The footage also shows the aftermath of the strike from the perspective of a nearby Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), showing the smoke rising hundreds of feet into the air from behind a building.
“Ukrainian forces destroyed a Russian T-72-series tank on the western outskirts of #Donetsk City. Seems that the cope cage didn’t help,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes in a post accompanying the video.
Russia Is Deploying Even More Decades-Old Tanks
The T-72 is a family of Russian, Soviet-era main battle tanks. Designed in the 1960s and developed from the T-64, the T-72 tank has been in service in the Russian military since 1973. Many variations of the tank have been built over the decades, and new versions of the tank – including the T-90 – have been developed in the years that followed its initial release.
While many modernized versions of the tank remain in use by the Russian military, large quantities of the aging Soviet tank have been taken from storage, refurbished, and deployed to Ukraine amid a shortage of modern main battle tanks. Among those older tanks sent into Ukraine is the T-72 Ural, an early version of the tank that was the standard in use by the Russian forces for 50 years. The tank was developed by the Uralvagonzavod factory, which still produces main battle tanks for the Russian military today, and the true number of these vehicles now being deployed in Ukraine is hard to measure.
Despite T-72 tanks being substantially less advanced than modern tanks, either Russian or Western, Russia’s Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov recently insisted that the tanks would easily take on the United States’ more modern M1 Abrams tanks.
Kadyrov claimed that Abrams tanks were best compared to “pedal” cars used by children, and said that the modernized T-72 – which features improved exterior armor and some internal upgrades – are the “real power” on the ground in Ukraine.
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 3, 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.