Video Shows Russian T-72B3 Tank Destroyed in ‘Zhytomyr Paratroopers’ Strike

A video published by Ukraine’s military appears to show the moment a Russian T-72B3 tank was destroyed following a strike.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, which posted the footage on Friday, said it shows Ukraine’s elite Zhytomyr paratroopers destroying the Russian T-72B3 tank “and the manpower of the occupiers.”

As part of its daily update on the war, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces posts figures on Russia’s troop and equipment losses. Russia lost four tanks over the past 24 hours, according to the military’s Friday figures—bringing the total to 3,777. Ukraine’s military has posted footage throughout the war of Russian tanks purportedly being destroyed.

Russia’s T-72B3 main battle tank and other military vehicles move on April 27, 2017 down Moscow’s Tverskaya street towards Red Square for the Victory Day parade night training. Russia marks the anniversary of the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany on May 9.

The aerial footage shows the moment the tank is struck by Ukraine’s forces, causing it to catch fire. The T-72B3 is the most modernized version of the Soviet-era T-72 battle tank, and the most widely used tank by Russia’s military.

It first entered into service in Russia in 2010, and was involved in combat during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initial 2014 invasion of Ukraine. The tank is more mobile than the T-72 with an enhanced engine and a greater weight.

It isn’t clear where or when the video shared by Ukraine’s military was filmed.

Western analysts have assessed that Russia has a shortage of tanks and tank crews in the war.

The British Ministry of Defense said in April that Russia’s reported decision to cancel its annual “War Olympics”—the Russian International Army Games—could be linked to tank shortages from the war with Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has organized the International Army Games annually since 2015. It typically involves multiple countries participating in a series of competitions. Russia’s state-run news agency Tass reported on April 18, citing unnamed sources, that the games will now be held every two years. The next event will therefore be in 2024.

The British Defense Ministry said there is a realistic possibility that, due to losses in Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry is concerned that a shortage of tanks, tank crews and other skilled personnel “will risk the Russian team’s usual domination of the medals table.”

Russia also notably used one Soviet-era T-34 tank in Moscow’s Red Square Victory Day parade on May 9. Victory Day is Russia’s annual commemoration of Nazi Germany’s defeat during World War II, and Putin typically shows off the country’s military power during the parade.

The British Defense Ministry said it “highlighted the materiel and strategic communications challenges the military is facing 15 months into the war in Ukraine.”

Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Defense Ministry via email for comment.

Source link