Drone Footage Shows Ukrainian Ambush On Russian Tamks

Drone footage has emerged of a Ukrainian ambush on a Russian armoured column just outside Brovary, an eastern suburb of Kyiv.

The specialist open source investigator Bellingcat said it had geolocated the video, to a lightly inhabited area on the E95 road about 22 miles (35km) from the centre of Kyiv, a direct route to the east of the capital where Russian forces have been trying to mass.

The edited 45-second video, which was released by Ukraine’s armed forces, is a montage of the fighting on the road and shows a company or more of Russian tanks and armoured vehicles coming under repeated attack. Its production quality means the fighting filmed may not have taken place on Thursday.

It is overlaid with an audio of what appears to be a Russian officer reporting an attack to his superiors. This is presented as an effective commentary on the fighting shown. It also said the regiment’s commander was killed, named by Ukrainian media as Col Andrei Zakharov, although this could not be independently confirmed.

“Sixth regiment lost,” the officer tells headquarters. “I cannot report about the 6th regiment. I’m collecting data. Lots of losses. They waited for us. Head of the convoy got into the ambush. Regiment commander killed in action.”

Several military experts described the video as credible and said it showed surprising tactics on the part of the Russian forces, with more than 20 tanks and other armoured vehicles on a main road fairly close to the capital.

Ben Barry, a former tank commander with the British army and a land warfare specialist with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a thinktank, said: “They either think they are going through a safe area, or they were not well trained or they are moving fast for some other requirement.”

Tanks moving through a built-up area should normally use close infantry support to prevent ambushes from the side of the road, Barry said. Having watched the footage, he said he thought the Russian armour was probably targeted with artillery or mortar fire because the nature of the blasts.

On the audio, the Russian apparently reporting the ambush speculates that they may been targeted by Turkish Bayraktar drones, but parts of the video show poor conditions and low cloud cover not considered ideal for drone attacks.

Parts of the footage also show a TOS-1 heavy flamethrower, clearly marked with a painted O symbol, towards the bottom of the screen. At one point during the fighting it unleashes an incendiary rocket at a target apparently off screen, a demonstration of Russian willingness to use thermobaric weapons during combat.

Another expert on the Russian military who reviewed the video, Rob Lee, a former US marine and PhD student at King’s College London, said he thought this displayed “very poor tactics” on the part of the Russians, with a force clearly positioned “on an obvious avenue of approach”.

Russia has taken heavier than expected losses during the invasion, which began just over two weeks ago. Ukraine has sought to make a public relations play of Ukrainian successes, releasing film of destroyed Russian tanks or enemy armour being towed by tractors.

So far, 164 Russian tanks have been destroyed, damaged or captured, according to the specialist monitor Oryx, which is tracking losses using photo or video evidence. Oryx says for Russian armoured fighting vehicles, the number is 102. Ukraine has lost 47 tanks and 39 fighting vehicles from its smaller force.

An assessment by the US earlier this week suggested 5,000 to 6,000 Russian troops had been killed and 2,000 to 4,000 Ukrainian troops, plus many more civilians. Another US assessment estimated that both sides had lost 8% to 10% of the military assets that they had committed to the fighting.

Source: Guidance Online

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