The war in Ukraine is a conflict like no other for one big reason: it seems like the entire was is being documented on social media.
Video footage shared by the Russian military and reposted on Twitter on Tuesday shows the moment that a Russian drone takes out a Ukrainian armored personnel carrier.
The dramatic footage from Ukraine, shot from the perspective of the kamikaze-style drone, shows how the drone sought out the vehicle, stalked it, and ultimately struck it from behind as the drivers attempted to escape.
‘Dead Tank’: Video From Ukraine Shows Drone Hitting Armored Vehicle
One operator can be seen in the vehicle holding the hatch open as the vehicle speeds along the dirt road. The footage then shows the vehicle from the perspective of the drone as it flies directly towards the open hatch on top of the vehicle. The footage then switches to the perspective of a nearby drone, showing the loitering munition smashing into the rear of the vehicle and immediately causing an explosion.
Immediately following the strike, the vehicle moves off course, driving into the field and off the road as plumes of thick, black smoke erupt from the rear. Amidst the smoke, some kind of ammunition can be seen firing into the air, suggesting that the explosion caused ammunition to ignite following the strike.
Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular war-tracking Twitter account that shared the clip on Tuesday, noted that the vehicle was also damaged by anti-tank landmines and that it had previously been captured by the Ukrainian military from the Russians and redeployed.
“A Ukrainian BTR-82A armored personnel carrier was destroyed by a Russian FPV loitering munition and anti-tank landmines,” the account noted.
“The APC was previously captured from the Russian army and then put into service.”
Keen war trackers were quick to note that the explosion didn’t look like a typical loitering munition strike, though Ukraine Weapons Tracker noted that the device was equipped with a high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) payload.
“HEAT payload, that’s why it may look weird to you,” the account noted.
HEAT ammunition is designed in a way that it delivers an explosive charge designed to penetrate armor steel. Using a shaped charge jet to penetrate the shield, the ammunition delivers an explosive charge after the armor has been pierced. The result is more damage to the vehicle being targeted.
Some HEAT-armed missiles are fitted with two warheads, allowing the ammunition to cause damage even to multi-layered armor.
#Ukraine: A Ukrainian BTR-82A armored personnel carrier was destroyed by a Russian FPV loitering munition and anti-tank landmines.
The APC was previously captured from the Russian army and then put into service. pic.twitter.com/a68Mq9sFNQ
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) July 18, 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.