After months of build-up, reports over the last few days suggested that Ukraine’s full counteroffensive may now be underway.
In Eastern Ukraine, this involves a push with artillery power, while in the South, Ukrainian forces are rolling forward with Western-supplied armored vehicles, including main battle tanks.
Though Ukraine also lost a number of MBTs and other vehicles, the bulk of this armor had been held back. Based on recently shared video clips, large quantities of the Western war machines are finally on the move.
This happens even as Russia has reportedly withdrawn its T-14 Armata tanks from the frontline for unspecified reasons.
VideoShows Former NATO Armor and Tanks in Ukraine
In a newly posted video from OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) on the X social media platform (formerly known as Twitter), a U.S.-made M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and a German-produced Leopard 2A6 MBT were spotted traveling down a dirt road in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the site of heavy fighting.
Western Armor in Full Force
Expectations for the Western-made vehicles have been high. When the United States, UK, Germany, France, and other Western nations announced that they would supply Ukraine with these vehicles, it was described as a game changer.
But it took months for the first deliveries to arrive, and Russia spent that time preparing its defensive positions. Kremlin forces laid out vast networks of landmines. They also built tank traps and other barriers. As a result, the initial stages of Ukraine’s counteroffensive failed to penetrate Russian lines.
It now appears that Ukraine’s military is using a more concentrated approach, though such an offensive is still in its opening stages.
The United States pledged to provide the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle to Ukraine earlier this year. Named after World War II general Omar Bradley, the platform first entered U.S. service in the 1980s in two basic, similar variants — the M2 used by infantry units, and the M3 by cavalry-scout formations. Around a dozen of the Bradleys supplied to Ukraine have been destroyed, while another two dozen or so have been damaged to varying degrees. Most of the damaged vehicles have been repaired and returned to service.
A number of the Leopard 2s have also been destroyed, and Russia boldly claimed earlier this month that all of the tanks gifted by Poland had been taken out of action. That has not been independently verified, and Kyiv disputes the claim. In addition, last month, it was reported that Ukraine would receive more than a dozen additional Leopard 2A4s as part of a deal financed by the Danish and Dutch governments.
Ukrainian M2A2 Bradley IFV moving with a Leopard 2A6, Zaporizhia Oblast. pic.twitter.com/3XSx1V5O1u
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) July 22, 2023
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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.