Russian tank is blown up as it drives straight over Ukrainian mine

Russian tank is blasted to smithereens as it drives straight over a Ukrainian mine in fierce’ fighting for control of key town as the war heats up ahead of spring offensives

  • Drone footage captures a Russian tank avoiding shells but driving into a mine
  • Ukrainian troops have been locked in ‘fierce’ battles with Russia around Donetsk

A video has captured the moment a Russian tank drives straight into a minefield while taking artillery fire in Ukraine.

The vehicle is seen driving down an empty road, thought to be outside Donetsk, that is surrounded by hundreds of craters from shelling.

The footage shows an artillery shell exploding about 20m ahead of the tank as it continues forward.

The tank disappears behind the cloud of smoke before it drives over a mine and sets of another explosion.

The video begins with a single tank driving down a nearly destroyed roads as an artillery shell lands ahead of it

Before the smoke has cleared from the shell, the tank drives over a mine causing another large blast

Shortly after the second explosion another blast is seen, possibly from the tank itself

Four soldiers escape the burning wreckage of the tank and run off into the field next to the road as the video ends

Just a second later another explosion takes place and a fireball erupts from the tank, forcing the soldiers inside to flee.

Read more: Russia says it will consider the deployment of German Leopard 2 tanks as the use of a nuclear ‘dirty bomb’ if they use shells containing uranium core 

The drone footage ends by showing four soldiers running away from the wreckage off into the cratered fields to the side.

The video comes as Ukrainian troops were locked in a ‘fierce’ confrontation with Russian fighters on Friday for control of the town of Vugledar southwest of Donetsk as the two sides battle along the southern front.

Both sides claimed success in the small administrative centre of apartment blocks surrounded by flat fields, a short distance from the strategic prize of the village of Pavlivka.

‘The encirclement and subsequent liberation of this city solves many problems,’ said Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-appointed leader of the Donetsk region.

‘Soon, Vugledar may become a new, very important success for us,’ he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

But Kyiv said the town, which had a pre-invasion population of around 15,000 people, remained contested.

‘There is fierce combat there,’ Ukrainian military spokesman Sergiy Cherevaty told local media.

‘For many months, the military of the Russian Federation… has been trying to achieve significant success there,’ he said.

A woman walks near a residential building destroyed by a Russian missile attack in the town of Glevakha, Kyiv region

A burned tank sits next to a road in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen take cover as they fire a mortar load on the Donbass frontline

Ukrainian soldiers are seen on their ways to the frontlines with their armored military vehicles as the strikes continue on the Donbass frontline

Moscow’s push for Vugledar is part of its effort to seize control of the entire Donetsk region, which it has already declared a part of Russia.

Ukraine said this week that Russian troops had stepped up their attacks in the east, particularly on Vugledar and Bakhmut.

And Moscow was preparing for a new offensive on February 24, the first anniversary of the Russian invasion, said Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council.

‘Now they are preparing for maximum activation, and they believe that by the anniversary they should have some achievements,’ Danilov said on Radio Svoboda.

‘There is no secret that they are preparing for a new wave by February 24, as they themselves say,’ he said.

According to the US-based Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces may be engaging in a series of spoiling attacks ‘to disperse and distract Ukrainian forces and set conditions to launch a decisive offensive operation’.

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