Several videos posted Saturday by the Armed Forces of Ukraine depict a Russian T-72B tank destroyed by a landmine as it plodded through a minefield strewn with other damaged and abandoned tanks in Vuhledar, a town on the front lines in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast.
In the video, Ukrainian forces referred to this spot as the Vuhledar “black hole” and credited the tank’s destruction to Ukraine’s 72nd brigade, while the second part of the video shows another Russian tank struck by an anti-tank weapon.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that Russian forces launched attacks near Vuhledar during the weekend.
The U.S.-based think tank said Russian forces have not changed their tactics around Vuhledar, but “lately there has been an increase in Russian forces conducting assaults without armored support and even some instances of armored personnel carriers driving infantry to the frontline for dismounted assaults and then withdrawing.”
According to British intelligence, there is concentrated Russian vehicle losses in the town. U.K.’s Ministry of Defence said Russia lost elements of its 155th Naval Infantry (NI) Brigade, which has been at the forefront of “recent costly offensives.”
The Russian NI has been tasked with some of the toughest tactical missions in the war and has suffered extremely high casualties, the U.K. reports.
“The supposedly enhanced capability of NI brigades has now almost certainly been significantly degraded because it has been backfilled with inexperienced mobilised personnel,” the U.K. report says.
“This lack of experience is almost certainly exacerbating Russian officers’ tendency to micromanage, which in turn reduces operational agility. There is a realistic possibility that degraded NI units will again be committed to new assaults near Vuhledar.”
Russian forces continue to launch attacks in Donetsk, as the General Staff for the Armed Forces of Ukraine said the threat of missile strikes across Ukraine “remains high.”
Amid the shelling, Ukrainian officials continue to ask Western allies for more defense weapons.
After a series of drone attacks Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces need “the aviation component of air defense to protect the entire territory of our country from Russian terror.”
General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukrainian armed forces, said he spoke to a top U.S. military official about his country’s weaponry needs.
Zaluzhnyi said he updated Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley about “the need to strengthen the capacity of the air defense system of Ukraine, including by providing F16 multi-purpose fighter aircraft.”
“Every received projectile, every unit of weapons and equipment is a saved life of Ukrainian military and civilians. Thanks to the help of our partners, we are holding on and will definitely win,” Zaluzhnyi said in a statement.
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