Anti-tank weapons like the Javelin, NLAW, AT4, and others have proven to be a killer for Putin’s armored forces in Ukraine.
NATO and many other supporters of Ukraine have sent thousands of such weapons to slow and now halt and reverse Russia’s advance.
And today, we can see the power they have thanks to the innovations and wonder of social media.
Watch Russian T-80BVM Taken Out By Ukrainian Javelin Strike –
In a video clip shared by the Ukrainian military back in mid-March, Ukrainian soldiers are seen destroying a Russian T-80BVM tank somewhere in Donetsk Oblast using the Javelin missile.
The Javelin man-portable surface-to-air missile system, designed to be used by a single soldier, can be seen held over the shoulder of a Ukrainian operator.
In the next clip, a Russian tank is seen stationary in a rural field. The Javelin missile strikes the tank, creating a large plume of gray smoke.
A final birds-eye shot of the tank shows the tank in a state of disrepair, with much of its armor destroyed, and even the tracks torn away from vehicle and lying on the ground.
“The Ukrainian 36th Marine Brigade took a Russian T-80BVM tank out of action with a FGM-148 Javelin ATGM strike in #Donetsk Oblast,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes.
Twitter users noted in response to the video that the use of a Javelin missile may have been unnecessary in this case, but it’s hard to know exactly why Ukrainian soldiers deemed the strike necessary.
The tank appeared to already be immobilized, and presuming the vehicle was abandoned, it could have been completely taken out of action through the use of a drone equipped with a thermobaric grenade.
Many videos have emerged over the last year showing Ukrainian soldiers using this tactic to destroy abandoned Russian vehicles – especially those that cannot be easily recovered and reused by the Ukrainian side.
However, in this instance, it’s possible that the Ukrainian forces did not have access to this kind of equipment and simply used whatever was available to ensure the vehicle was completely immobilized.
The T-80BVM is also an upgraded version of the T-80BV main battle tank, and is one of the newest tanks available to the Russians at present.
If the Ukrainian side believed that the vehicle was at risk of being recovered by the Russians, the use of a Javelin missile was likely deemed worthwhile given that Russia’s modern battle tanks are harder to destroy and are becoming rarer by the day.
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 17, 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.