A video clip purporting to show one of Russia’s advanced tanks being blown up by Ukrainian forces has gone viral.
“Soldiers of the Code 9.2 special squad. together with the National Guard Brigade 3027 tracked down and destroyed the pride of the Russian defense industry – the T90 Proryv tank,” tweeted Ukrainian Home Affairs Advisor Anton Gerashchenko next to the video.
Set to the soundtrack to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” the one-minute, 17-second video shows a tank being targeted from the air. The clip, which received 142,000 views on Saturday, ends with a montage of a Russian report praising tank deliveries to Ukraine and the aftermath of the T-90 explosion.
Russia presented its T-90M as one of the best main battle tanks (MBT) in the world. Also called “Proryv-3” (Breakthrough-3), the MBT is an upgraded version of the T-90 tank and was first publicly revealed in 2017.
Both models, of which the army has several hundred, are superior to the Soviet tanks used by Russian and Ukrainian forces during the war.
The T-90M has a number of improvements over its predecessors, such as better armor protection, countermeasures system and stronger gun power. It is armed with a 125 mm 2А46М autoloader main gun and has a firing range of over three miles in its basic form.
However, as reported by Military Publication 1945, Russian tanks fell victim to anti-tank guided missiles as well as “innovative tactics” by Ukrainian forces using Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
Russian media reported that the T-90Ms showed the resilience of the country’s arms industry, and the discovery that they contained French technology suggests the sanctions could mean future supply chain problems.
Ukrainian media Ukrinform reported that the first hit recorded on a T-90 since the start of the war took place on May 4, 2022 in Staryi Saltiv, Kharmiv.
Since the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian forces have destroyed at least 15 T-90M tanks, according to Oryx, a website that tracks wartime equipment losses using open-source intelligence. Russia also lost 33 T-90A tanks, 1 T-90AK and 6 T-90S tanks.
It comes as Ukraine’s armed forces reported on Saturday that in the past 24 hours Russia suffered the loss of 880 soldiers, bringing the total death toll, according to Kiev, to 164,200.
Western estimates of Russian casualties are much lower, and Moscow has not updated its tally since late September, when it said it lost just under 6,000 troops.
Newsweek has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.