The war in Ukraine is clearly a war that shows no end in sight.
Both sides look to be locked into an epic struggle where both sides see victory as the only way out of the conflict.
And that means we will see a lot of ‘kamikaze drone’ attacks shown on social media for months and maybe years to come.
What happens next is anyone’s guess.
‘Tank Goes Bang’ – Kamikaze Drone Hit Russian Armor
Amazing video footage shared on social media by the Ukrainian military back in April shows how a Russian armored personnel carrier was hit by an improvised loitering munition somewhere in Donetsk Oblast.
As the drone travels across the field, Russian military vehicles come into view and the drone begins to descend. Russian forces had no time to respond, and one Russian soldier was likely to have been severely injured by the strike.
The footage shows at least one soldier on top of the vehicle, looking out of the hatch.
The soldier doesn’t appear to notice the drone before it strikes and the video feed cuts off.
Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular Twitter-based war-tracking account, noted that the video footage came from Ukraine’s 23rd Separate Rifle Battalion, somewhere to the northeast of Torske in Donetsk Oblast.
“A Russian MT-LB armoured personnel carrier was damaged by an improvised FPV loitering munition operated by the Ukrainian 23rd Separate Rifle Battalion North-East of Torske, #Donetsk Oblast,” a post containing the video reads.
From a distance, the strike looks to have made a serious impact on the vehicle, creating a large plume of white smoke.
However, no fire ensued, and the vehicle didn’t appear to explode, suggesting that the vehicle’s armor fulfilled its purpose and offered some level of protection against the strike. It is unknown whether any of the vehicle’s operators or passengers were killed.
#Ukraine: A Russian MT-LB armoured personnel carrier was damaged by an improvised FPV loitering munition operated by the Ukrainian 23rd Separate Rifle Battalion North-East of Torske, #Donetsk Oblast. pic.twitter.com/5pWBMQFZ3m
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) April 4, 2023
Ukraine’s 23rd Separate Rifle Battalion, much like the rest of the Ukrainian military, has long used improvised attack drones to take out Russian equipment and personnel.
Videos from December show Ukrainian troops from the 23rd Separate Rifle Battalion dropping grenades from rotary-blade drones designed for commercial sale and use.
One video shows an improvised drone dropping a grenade on a Russian position, in comparison to the improvised loitering munition seen in the more recent video.
Drones of the 23rd separate rifle battalion pic.twitter.com/sS3gkBWyXu
— Paul Jawin (@PaulJawin) December 25, 2022
In another video, also from December, a Russian infantry fighting vehicle was left destroyed and in a blaze following a Ukrainian drone strike. The strike reportedly occurred right next to 23rd Separate Rifle Battalion positions.
A destroyed Russian IFV on fire in front of 23rd separate rifle battalion positions. pic.twitter.com/IMNyr9x48t
— Paul Jawin (@PaulJawin) December 27, 2022
As much as Ukrainian soldiers have learned to adapt and use commercial drones to their advantage, Ukraine also continued to benefit from NATO-standard air defense systems that continue to take out enemy drones.
On Tuesday, April 4, the Ukrainian Air Force revealed that out of 17 Iranian-manufactured Shahed drones launched by the Russians overnight, 14 were taken out by Ukrainian defense systems.
“In total, up to 17 launches of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) attacks were recorded, presumably from the eastern coast area of the Sea of Azov,” the update reads.
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.