The war in Ukraine has been accompanied by intense information warfare. In what could be seen as an attempt at psychological warfare, a video of an ambush has gone viral on social media, triggering a heated debate among military experts and netizens.
A Russian news outlet has claimed that it has information that the crew of a Ukrainian tank launched an unprovoked attack on its personnel, which it says has been substantiated by video footage. The attack reportedly took place in Kharkiv. The EurAsian Times has not been able to verify the claims.
The report claimed that the shot was fired by the tank at a very close range and did not appear to be an accident. According to the report, the Ukrainian territorial defense forces were busy performing a specific mission, while a Ukrainian army battle tank stood nearby.
However, the identity of the troops that were attacked in the video could not be independently corroborated by EurAsian Times due to a lack of clarity, owing to the distance from which the video was recorded.
Graphic Warning: video appeared on the network of how a tank shot a group of soldiers at a checkpoint near Kharkov at point-blank range. The soldiers did not notice the equipment is unknown. Some users note that the military could confuse the tank with their own,so some military pic.twitter.com/ByAP6fbWhe
— timetravel07 (@timetravel077) April 12, 2022
The tank could be seen firing a cannon, hitting several soldiers in front of it, as evidenced by the available footage online. The shooting at the troops did not appear to be an accident, based on the fact that machine-gun fire was also subsequently heard from the tank a few seconds after the cannon shot.
Without any concrete evidence, the Russian media report, however, concluded that the conduct of what it believes was a Ukrainian tank and the deliberate shooting “on friendly forces” caused several problems for Ukraine. However, it stopped short of elaborating.
The Mystery Attack & Multiple Theories
While the supporters of Russia have widely shared the video, it has been refuted by war trackers and military watchers on Twitter.
Many users, supporting Ukraine in the war, have stated that it is yet another attempt at Russian propaganda and it was the Russian troops that were fired upon the Ukrainian troops.
— Zaid Ahmd (@realzaidzayn) April 11, 2022
Other war trackers were debating that the attack was carried out by a T-72B3 tank. There is, however, a third narrative attached to the same viral video which claims that the Ukrainian crew were shot at by Russians as they failed to identify that the tank approaching was hostile.
— UA FreeSky (@uafreesky) April 11, 2022
Due to a lack of clarity in the video, the uniform of the troops shot at close range could not be identified. However, many alleged that the uniform appears to be Russian and could not make out if the tank approaching them, a T-72, was their own.
Ukraine has captured a number of Russian tanks and destroyed others using man-portable guided missiles.
Tank Destruction Continues
Ever since Russian troops started their “special military operation” in Ukraine, it has either lost or abandoned a huge number of its tanks.
Russia has lost T-72, T-90, and T-80 tanks in huge numbers. However, a verified figure agreed by both sides does not exist yet.
With the addition of the UK’s Starstreak missile, the Ukrainian troops are reportedly wreaking havoc on Russian armored troops that are stretched beyond capacity in urban settings without appropriate infantry support.
Due to the attacks on their tanks, they have resorted to some bizarre ad-hoc measures including up-armoring using logs and metal scraps, as EurAsian Times had previously reported.
As the conflict is being ferociously fought, the Ukrainian President has warned that Russia’s offensive in the Eastern part of the country is going to intensify manifold. He has also pleaded with the international community for more lethal aid.
Meanwhile, the UK is exploring options for ensuring the continuity and sustainability of military support for Ukraine, the UK defense ministry said on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, UK defense ministry officials received a Ukrainian delegation, headed by Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov, in Salisbury Plain Training Area to discuss the challenges the Ukrainian troops are facing and look into the possibilities of scaling up London’s military assistance for Kyiv.
“We are exploring options for future military support, including working with the UK Defence industry and our Ukrainian counterparts into the longer term to ensure the equipment supplied continues to be both effective and sustainable for their heroic armed forces,” UK Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin was quoted as saying by the ministry.
In the course of the visit, the UK army’s 3rd Division and the Royal Marines showed off a range of equipment and variants of further military support, including defensive missile systems and protected mobile vehicles, the statement added.
“The Ukrainian job is far from done and the Prime Minister has directed that the UK provides even more in support of this next phase of the conflict. It was an honor to show Minister Havrylov and his generals the kit the UK hopes to provide next and to discuss some new weapons,” Armed Forces Minister James Heappey was quoted as saying.
The UK has trained over 22,000 military personnel in Ukraine since 2015 through Operation Orbital. In 2021, the military support was reinforced, when London and Kyiv signed a bilateral treaty that allocated 1.7 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) to boost Ukraine’s naval capabilities.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, the UK supplied Kyiv with more than 4,000 anti-tank weapons, at least 16,000 missiles, including next-generation lightweight anti-tank systems and Javelin missiles. On March 24, the UK provided another 25 million pounds in support of the Ukrainian troops.