Drone footage shows the moment British Brimstone missiles blow up pair of Russian tanks | Daily Mail Online

2022-05-21 20:58:56 By : Mr. Mark Tan

By Katie Feehan For Mailonline

Published: 21:05 EDT, 17 May 2022 | Updated: 01:54 EDT, 18 May 2022

Ukraine armed forces appear to have used British-made Brimstone missiles to destroy Russian tanks deep behind enemy lines.

Drone footage shared by a Ukrainian combat instructor, shows two missiles strike military vehicles in quick succession, sending debris flying into the air.

The weapon has been adapted to be fired from small vehicles on the Ukrainian battlefield rather than used from warplanes, drones of naval ships - as designed.

In the footage shared by Pavlo Kashchuk yesterday, two missiles were fired from a tractor before two struck a convoy of military vehicles believed to be in the Donbas region.

Pavlo wrote: 'They say the Orcs are in a little panic. Tanks get their turrets torn down even in the rear.

'There are already rumours about new ghost planes from NATO, but wait, it’s just good old Brimstones in the skilful hands of operators of the Special Operations Forces and a little bit of military trickery.'

Pictured: Drone footage captured the moment Ukraine forces used British-made Brimstone missiles to destroy two Russian tanks almost simultaneously deep behind enemy lines

It is believed this is the first time the missiles have been fired from the ground in live combat, with earlier footage showing Ukraine forces training with the hi-tech weapons. 

The operation was reportedly carried out by special forces who had been trained to use the newly designed weapon.  

The £175,000 Brimstone came into service in 2005, with an updated version supplied to the RAF six years ago.

As a 'fire and forget' missile, it strikes its target after being launched - without further intervention - using laser-seeking guidance or autonomous targeting.

Pictured: After launching the missiles from a tractor, footage shows the explosives strike two Russian tanks within seconds of each other, sending smoke and debris flying up into the air

Pictured: A yellow circle highlights debris flying into the air after the tanks were destroyed

The weapon is being used by the United Kingdom's RAF, a well as the air forces of Germany and Saudi Arabia. Qatar is also set to use the weapon in the future. 

Like several western nations, the UK has supplied Ukraine with military support since President Putin launched his invasion on February 24.

In recent days, the UK confirmed £1.3billion in extra military funding towards Ukraine's defensive operations, on top of the existing £1.5 billion of support already given - which included humanitarian and military aid.

Britain has supplied Ukraine with armoured vehicles, anti-tanks missiles, air defence systems and munitions - along with helmets, body armour and night vision goggles. 

Pictured: Large explosions are seen in a field during test launches of the Brimstone missile

Ukrainian armed forces have utilised hand-held anti-tank missile launchers, as well as other modern equipment such as drones, to great effect, punching well above their weight against a Russian army that is the fifth largest in the world.

Despite many commentators expecting Ukraine's forces to be overrun in the early days of the invasion, Kyiv's soldiers have been able to destroy thousands of Russian military vehicles. Moscow has lost an estimated 27,000 soldiers.

Modern equipment has allowed Ukraine's soldiers to be more manoeuvrable than their Russian foes, who have been caught out using Soviet-era tactics. Several videos have shown scores of Russian vehicles being destroyed in ambushes.  

In one examples last week, Russia suffered a double battlefield humiliation when Ukraine successfully thwarted its attempt to cross a river in Donbas, destroying dozens of vehicles and inflicting heavy casualties. 

In an attempt to then rescue men and vehicles that were then stranded on the wrong side of the Donets River, near Biolhorivka - after the first attempt on May 8 - Russian forces launched a second effort to cross the river. The results were much the same.

It appears Russian commanders were attempting to surround Lysychansk - and its sister city of Severodonetsk - with the crossing, but saw their sneak-attack turn into a massacre when Ukraine correctly guessed their plans. 

The weapon has been adapted to be fired from small vehicles on the Ukrainian battlefield

The attempt ended with Russian pontoon bridges being sunk by an artillery barrage that destroyed dozens of vehicles and may have killed more than 1,000 troops.

Satellite images laid bare the scale of the failure with the remains of two pontoon bridges drifting in the Donets River at Bilohorivka, west of the city of Lysychansk, surrounded by the ruins of tanks and armoured vehicles. 

Russian forces then made another failed attempt to cross the river - losing more men to another barrage in the process, with survivors forced to swim to safety.

It is just the latest humiliation for Putin's army - once ranked second in the world - after commanders failed to capture the capital Kyiv, were beaten back from Mykolaiv by a rag-tag band of territorial defence troops and civilians, and got their Black Sea flagship Moskva sunk by Ukrainian missiles.

Commanders are now trying to seize control of the Donbas region - cynically claiming that was their true objective all along - but have so-far failed to make any significant breakthrough in almost a month of fighting, with Kyiv claiming Russia has suffered 'colossal' losses.

In fact, in many regions, Ukraine's forces are now on the offensive. 

Pictured: A still from a video showing the Britush-designed missile in use in Ukraine

Over the weekend, Kyiv's armed forces launched a counter-offensive on the Russian-held city of Izyum in what could prove to be a major turning point in the battle for the country's east.

Izyum is one of the largest cities in the Kharkiv oblast and sits less than 15 miles from the regional border with Donetsk - part of the Donbas region.

Liberating the city from Russian occupation would provide Ukrainian forces with a key strategic position on the Donets river from which to launch further counter-offensives to drive Putin's forces back into the Donbas.

The counter-attack in Izyum comes just one day after the general staff of the armed forces of Ukraine announced they had successfully repelled Russian forces from the second city Kharkiv, a mere 40 miles from the Russian border.

But a Ukrainian military spokesperson admitted that Russian units had advanced elsewhere, gaining ground in a number of smaller cities and towns along in the east.

'Despite losses, Russian forces continue to advance in the Lyman, Sievierodonetsk, Avdiivka and Kurakhiv areas in the broader Donbas region,' the Sunday morning update read.

It comes as a top NATO official declared Russia's military offensive in the Donbas was 'faltering' and the British Ministry of Defence suggested that roughly a third of Putin's ground forces had been lost in bloody fighting.

'The brutal invasion (by) Russia is losing momentum,' NATO Deputy-Secretary General Mircea Geoana told reporters ahead of a meeting of diplomats in Berlin on Sunday to discuss providing further support to Ukraine and moves by Finland, Sweden and others to join the security bloc. 

'We know that with the bravery of the Ukrainian people and army, and with our help, Ukraine can win this war,' he said.

Geoana, who was preparing to chair the meeting while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recovers from a Covid-19 infection, said Ukraine's supporters were 'united, we are strong, will continue to help Ukraine in winning this war.'

The official's assessment of Russia's struggle in the east of Ukraine supported a statement given by the MoD this morning which said intelligence suggested Russia had lost up to a third of its ground forces since the invasion began on February 24.

'Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition,' the MoD said in an intelligence update.

'Russia has now likely suffered losses of one third of the ground combat force it committed in February.'

It also said Russia was unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance over the next 30 days, pointing to 'continued low morale and reduced combat effectiveness' as two of the key problems hamstringing Putin's push for the Donbas.

In another video released on Sunday, the Ukrainians claim to show the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol - where its fighters still remained holed up - hit with incendiary of phosphorus bombs by Vladimir Putin's forces.

'The Russian military themselves claim that 9M22S incendiary shells with thermite layers were used,' said the Ukrainians.

'The combustion temperature is about 2-2.5 thousand degrees Celsius.

'It is almost impossible to stop the burning,' said Petr Andryushchenko, an adviser to the mayor of Mariupol.

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