Russia Shows Its T-72B3 Tanks Firing At Ukrainian Positions

These images purport to show Russian T-72B3 tanks firing at Ukrainian positions on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine.

The footage reportedly shows the Russian tanks manoeuvring into position before at least one of them can be seen apparently firing at unseen Ukrainian targets.

The images were obtained from the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Thursday, 16th February, along with a statement claiming: “The Russian Ministry of Defence publishes footage of the combat work of the crews of the T-72B3 tanks of the Southern Military District during a special military operation, which carry out the tasks of destroying firing points, fortified positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“Tank crews are in constant readiness to perform tasks to suppress enemy firing points. Upon receipt of a command, the tank crew immediately moves to one of the closed firing positions, from where it fires.

“Adjustment of fire is carried out with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

We have not been able to independently verify the claims or the footage.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February 2022 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 358th day of the full-scale war.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February 2022 and 16th February 2023, Russia had lost about 140,460 personnel, 3,296 tanks, 6,517 armoured combat vehicles, 2,306 artillery units, 466 multiple launch rocket systems, 239 air defence systems, 298 warplanes, 287 helicopters, 2,012 drones, 857 cruise missiles, 18 warships, 5,167 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 219 units of special equipment.

Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said that 97 per cent of the Russian army is now estimated to be in Ukraine. He reportedly said Russia’s forces are suffering “First World War levels of attrition”.

Russian T-72B3 tanks fire at Ukrainian fortified positions in Ukraine in undated footage. The footage was released by the Russian MoD on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

Ukraine’s allies have said that they probably will not manage to supply Kyiv with the number of tanks they had previously promised to provide.

Boris Pistorius, the German Minister of Defence, said they would not even be able to form a battalion – which is typically about 50 tanks.

The announcement comes after a meeting of Western defence ministers in Brussels.

While NATO countries are increasing their production of 155 millimetres artillery rounds to help Ukraine, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, said it is “obvious that we need to spend more”.

The International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) has calculated that Russia has most likely lost between 40 and 50 per cent of its tanks compared to before the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine, however, is thought to have increased its number of tanks thanks to the number of enemy war machines it has captured and supplies of Soviet-era tanks it has received from its allies.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the notorious Russian mercenary organisation Wagner, has confessed that his group is facing difficulties in eastern Ukraine. He said: “The number of Wagner units will decrease, and we will also not be able to carry out the scope of tasks that we would like to.”

His announcement comes amid reports that Moscow is moving to curb his political influence in the Russian capital.

Russian T-72B3 tanks fire at Ukrainian fortified positions in Ukraine in undated footage. The footage was released by the Russian MoD on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (Ministry of Defense of Russia/Newsflash)

Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Defence, has said that Russia is launching “round-the-clock” on Kyiv’s positions in eastern Ukraine. She added: “The situation is tense. Yes, it is difficult for us.”

The office of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has also said that the situation in Luhansk continues to be difficult.

Serhiy Haidai, Ukraine’s Governor of the Luhansk region, has said that Russia is sending mobilised troops and heavy equipment into the area but Ukrainian military forces continue to defend the frontlines.

The Russian Ministry of Defence had earlier claimed that its troops had punched through fortified Ukrainian defences in two locations in Luhansk and that Ukrainian troops had retreated, but they did not say where exactly these gains allegedly took place.

Governor Haidai said that Moscow’s claim that Ukrainian troops had retreated “does not correspond to reality”.

A British man killed in Ukraine has been named by friends and family as Jonathan Shenkin from Glasgow. The 45-year-old “died as a hero in an act of bravery as a paramedic”, his family have said.