Status: 07.12.2023, 22:53 p.m.
By: Patrick Mayer
X (formerly Twitter) has a video circulating about a tank duel from Ukraine. A Russian tank is forced to retreat. Nevertheless, the situation is serious for the Ukrainian defenders.
Avdiivka – The situation for the army of Ukraine near Avdiivka in the Donbas is extremely difficult. For weeks, Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin's troops have been running against the defenders, suffering immense losses in the process. Nevertheless, the units of the Ukrainian armed forces are threatened with encirclement here.
Ukraine war: Drone video of tank duel near Avdiivka surfaced
"They're attacking all the time. We are losing a lot of soldiers. You don't have the strength to fight them anymore. They are shelling us with artillery and drones," a wounded Ukrainian soldier told ZDF during his treatment behind the front lines. According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russians were able to make small progress southeast of the small town of 32,000 inhabitants at the beginning of December, while the noose is already tightening from the northwest.
This is exactly where a drone video is said to have come from, which is currently circulating on X (formerly Twitter). It depicts one of the rare head-to-head tank duels in the Ukraine war.
According to them, a Ukrainian T-64 tank and a Russian T-72B3 met in an open area near the settlement of Stepove, with only a row of trees in between. It is precisely here, about four kilometers northwest of Avdiivka, that the Russian attackers are currently trying to get into the rear of the Ukrainian troops. Not only in this case, however, they apparently did not succeed. The US news magazine Forbes speculates that the 1st Guards Tank Brigade of Ukraine may have been involved in this confrontation. It has the appropriate refurbished T-64BV tanks.
Avdiivka in Donbass: Tank duel between Ukrainian T-64 and Russian T-72
Among others, Rob Lee, an analyst at the American Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), shared the video on his X account. It can be seen how the Ukrainian tank immediately opened fire. The Russian tank was hiding behind ruined houses. The Ukrainian tank repeatedly missed the Russian tank, which, apparently, had mounted some kind of cage on the turret - for protection against kamikaze drones of the Ukrainians.
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When the Russian tank retreated a row of trees further back, the Ukrainians attacked the vehicle with a drone of the same kind. Although the tank was able to continue, it dragged an enormous cloud of smoke behind it after a hit (probably on the turret). What continues to stand out on the video, on the other hand, is rather worrying for the Ukrainian defenders. Thus, the obviously damaged tank came to a stop in several other Russian military vehicles, including a wheeled tank. On the other hand, the Ukrainian main battle tank that had put the attacker to flight was - at least on the video - alone in the field.
Avdiivka is a small town of 32,000 inhabitants in Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine. The former industrial city is located just under 15 kilometres north of the city centre of the city of Donetsk (around 920,000 inhabitants). It was known for its coking plant for the production of coke and raw gas from coal. In March, Avdiivka was largely destroyed by Russian attacks, after it had been the site of military conflict in Donbas again and again since 2014 - as it was again in autumn and winter 2023.
According to various reports, it could reflect the balance of forces in terms of soldiers and materiel on this sector of the front. A point has been reached "at which large parts of the Ukrainian troops are quite exhausted. There is hardly any possibility of rotation, and troop units are only filled up to 60 percent on a daily basis. That's an insanely large burden," explained military expert Prof. Carlo Masala from the University of the Bundeswehr Munich recently in ZDF's "heute journal". This is not the only place where the pressure is enormous.
Ukraine war: Pressure on defenders is enormous on the Dnipro and Avdiivka
A Ukrainian soldier told of a lack of supplies and inadequate equipment in the south of the country in the Kherson region, which is also fiercely contested. "Several brigades should be stationed here, not individual companies – we just don't have enough men," the soldier told the BBC about the situation in the southern delta of the huge Dnipro River: "We paid for a lot of our equipment ourselves – bought generators, power banks and warm clothes. Now that the frost is coming, it's only going to get worse – the true situation is being covered up." From Avdiivka, on the other hand, it can even be seen on drone footage. (pm)