Russian tank blown up after desperate attempt to escape Ukraine drone strike fails – VIDEO

Ukraine: Russian tank blown up after attempt to escape drone

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In rare overhead footage, a Russian BMP-2 is filmed being blown up by Ukraine’s 40th Artillery Brigade. The tank is first hit while hiding in the forest, where it bursts into flames. It then flees the scene desperately with smoke billowing out of its rear. After a short time, the Russian crew appear to abandon the vehicle as it continues to burn. The tank is then seen destroyed on a dirt path by a nearby forest. 

Ukraine’s 40th Artillery Brigade operates out of the city of Pervomaisk in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine. 

Fighting in the eastern regions has been fierce following Russia’s withdrawal from Kyiv towards areas closer to their homeland. 

Recent estimates from the Ukrainian Armed Forces suggest more than 32,000 Russian soldiers have died since Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded on February 24. 

Their equipment losses also appear to be in the thousands as Ukraine looks to defend the Donbas. 

Ukraine said today its forces were still holding out inside Severodonetsk and trying to evacuate civilians, after Russia destroyed the last bridge to the devastated eastern city in a potential turning point in one of the war’s bloodiest battles.

Ukrainian mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Stryuk said “the situation is very difficult but there is communication with the city”, despite the last bridge over the Seversky Donets river having been destroyed. 

He said: “Russian troops are trying to storm the city, but the military is holding firm.”

Ukraine says more than 500 civilians are trapped inside a chemical factory in an industrial zone of the city where its forces have resisted weeks of Russian bombardment and assault.

Stryuk added that evacuations were still being carried out “every minute when there is a lull and there is a possibility of transportation. 

“But these are discrete evacuations, done one by one, and every possible chance is taken.”

Both sides claim to have inflicted huge casualties in the fighting over the city. 

Ukraine still holds Lysychansk, Severodonetsk’s twin city on higher ground on the opposite bank. But with all the bridges now cut, its forces acknowledge a risk they could be encircled if they remain. 

Russia’s separatist proxies said any Ukrainian troops left behind must surrender or die.

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Damien Megrou, spokesperson for a unit of foreign volunteers helping to defend Severodonetsk, said there was a risk of leaving “a large pocket of Ukrainian defenders cut off from the rest of the Ukrainian troops” – as in Mariupol which fell in May after months of Russian siege.

Kyiv has said it is losing a staggering 100-200 soldiers killed each day, with hundreds more wounded. 

In an overnight address, President Volodymyr Zelensky described the battle for the eastern Donbas region as one of the most brutal in European history.

Bigger battles could also lie ahead for the wider Ukrainian-held pocket of the Donbas, nearly all on the opposite bank of the river, which Russian forces have found difficult to cross.

Ukraine says Russia is massing to assault Sloviansk from the north and along a front near Bakhmut to the south.

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