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Kremlin supporters are fuming after footage appears to show Ukrainian drones blowing up a Russian armored column

The FPV unit of the pilots of the Ukrainian army prepare to launch kamikaze drones at the positions of the Russians on January 26, 2024 in Kupiansk Frontline, Ukraine.
The FPV unit pilots of the Ukrainian army prepare to launch exploding drones at Russian positions on January 26, in Kupiansk, Ukraine.Libkos
  • Ukrainian forces appeared to blow up a Russian column of 11 tanks and armored vehicles.

  • Ukraine used FPV attack drones to apparently destroy the Russian vehicles.

  • Russian military bloggers are increasingly frustrated by Russia's perceived tactical blunders.

Ukrainian forces deployed FPV, or first-person-view, attack drones to blow up a column of Russian armored vehicles, said the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

A video shared by the Ministry of Defense on X, formerly Twitter, appears to show Ukrainian exploding drones hitting 11 tanks and armored vehicles. The Russian armored column included three T-72 tanks, seven tracked armored-fighting vehicles, and an infantry fighting vehicle.

Russian military bloggers expressed dismay at the tactics of the Russian forces, said the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US think tank.

Business Insider could not independently verify the video.

The battle involved Ukraine's 72nd Mechanized Brigade, said the Ukraine ministry. It took place near the settlement of Novomykhailivka, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, which Russia has been attempting to capture since October.

Cameras mounted on the attacking drones and those flying overhead captured the assault.

The convoy was maneuvering near the front lines along the east of Ukraine and became vulnerable to fire from artillery and swift and targeted drone strikes.

Leveling Russia's battlefield advantage

Footage shows the FPV exploding drones accelerating toward the Russian tanks and armored vehicles, with the feed abruptly cutting off just before impact.

Other footage gives a panoramic view, showing the dark shapes of tanks in motion, some bursting into flames as the exploding drones hit, followed by an aftermath of smoking, twisted wrecks abandoned in winter fields pockmarked with shell holes.

The video was dated January 30. The battle lasted nearly 2 ½ hours, said the Beluga Telegram channel in Ukraine, per the Mail Online.

The apparent victory against the armored column matters because Ukraine increasingly sees relatively inexpensive drone technology as a way of leveling Russia's battlefield advantage.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine's armed forces, wrote on Thursday for CNN News that the nature of war had changed thanks to advances in technical innovations.

He highlighted the key role that unmanned weapons systems, such as drones, play in helping Ukraine against Putin's forces despite Russia's significant manpower and weapon superiority.

FPV drones are an effective and low-cost weapon that Russia and Ukraine have used since the start of the full-scale invasion.

"Perhaps the number one priority here is mastery of an entire arsenal of (relatively) cheap, modern and highly effective unmanned vehicles and other technological means.

Already such assets allow commanders to monitor the situation on the battlefield in real time, day and night, and in all weather conditions," Zaluzhnyi wrote on CNN.

'Complete stupidity and incompetence'

Drone-mounted cameras show a UAV hitting a Russian tank.
Drone-mounted cameras show an FPV drone hitting a Russian tank in a video showing a battle in the Novomykhailivka area of the Donetsk region.Screengrab.

While the number of casualties from the wrecked armored column remains unknown, the strikes triggered a backlash among pro-war "Z" channels associated with Putin, expressing frustration over perceived military incompetence.

Russian military bloggers have become increasingly frustrated with the army's military tactics. Russian forces continue to self-sabotage by gathering in large groups to attack Ukrainian positions, making them an easy target for Ukrainian drones.

The ISW said one Russian military blogger described the events at Novomykhailivka as "complete stupidity and incompetence."

Another Kremlin-affiliated milblogger argued that Russian military command needs to stop attacking in mechanized columns because it had repeatedly led to the loss of equipment.

The milblogger also criticized military leadership for not accounting for Ukrainian drone operations and not equipping Russian armored vehicles with electronic-warfare systems, ISW said.

Ukraine, after nearly two years of war, has called on the West to bolster its defenses. The increased use of drone attacks, which have reached targets as far afield as Moscow and St. Petersburg, has become a strategic focus for Ukraine.

"It's a war of armor against projectiles. At the moment, projectiles are winning," Gleb Molchanov, a Ukrainian drone operator, told The Guardian.

February 7, 2024: This story has been updated to clarify that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine was the source of the video showing Ukrainian drones blowing up Russian armor.

Read the original article on Business Insider