Video Shows Russian Upgraded T-72B3 Tank Suffering Catastrophic Explosion

A screen grab of the explosion of what was reportedly a Russian T-72B3 tank. The blast reportedly took place in the southeastern Zaporozhzhia oblast. Screen grab via X

Footage has gone viral of an explosion of a Russian tank on the southern sector of the front line in Ukraine, reportedly in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia oblast.

Open-source intelligence site Osint Technical posted the 15-second clip on X (formerly Twitter), which, as of Saturday morning, had been viewed more than 435,000 times. Newsweek has not yet been able to verify or date the footage.

The drone footage shows a static tank in a field next to a crossroads, which all of a sudden explodes. The frame pans back, showing smoke billowing into the sky.

Osint Technical posted a second video that shows the explosion from a different angle, further away. It gives the coordinates of the blast as 47.449291 and 35.793038, which is located in the Polohy district, west of Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhia oblast.

“Robotyne, catastrophic Russian T-72B3 ammunition cookoff and turret toss,” is the message next to the video. Ukraine announced on August 28 that it had recaptured the town of Robotyne during its counteroffensive.

Cooking off is when unfired weapon ammunition explodes prematurely due to heat in the surrounding environment. It can refer to the detonation of ammunition not loaded into a weapon, as well as the unintended firing of an overheated loaded weapon.

The Soviet-era T-72B3 is Russia’s most numerous tank and, since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion, 580 of the military vehicles belonging to Russia have been destroyed. This is according to the Oryx website, which tallies losses on both sides using video and photographic evidence.

Other dramatic video footage also emerged on Saturday, purportedly from the occupied Zaporizhzhia region.

Drone footage shows an unmanned aerial vehicle flying towards a building in the village of Skelki, in the Vasilyevsky district. The site had been used to store ballots and documents, pro-Ukrainian eastern European news outlet Nexta reported, citing Ukraine’s SBU Intelligence agency.

“After the explosions, the occupiers cordoned off nearby streets, began checking people and took their drones into the air,” Nexta said.

It appears that the aim was for Kyiv to sabotage regional elections across the country. These include those in the four Ukrainian regions that Moscow had said to have annexed although it is not fully occupying.

The elections in the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts constitute a bid by the Kremlin to solidify its control—both militarily and politically—over the four Moscow-occupied regions of Ukraine, The Moscow Times reported.

One year on from widely disputed referendums in the regions, an unnamed Russian official told the outlet that the ballots aimed to legitimize the authorities and showcase that the residents of these territories are aligning themselves with Russia.

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