Aerial footage captured by a drone reveals a roughly 10-minute skirmish between US and Russian military vehicles.

A Russian T-90M Proryv main battle tank clashed with Ukrainian M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles donated by the US in the Stepovoye village area, near the hot Avdiivka battlefield. The battle was posted on the WarArchive telegram channel and attracted deep attention from the media, when the “weaker”, the M2 Bradley, defeated the “stronger”, Russia’s most modern MBT T-90M Proryv.

Aerial footage captured by a drone reveals a roughly 10-minute skirmish between US and Russian military vehicles. The video was allegedly filmed on January 11 this year near Stepovo. According to records, Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles used a 25 mm automatic cannon to directly attack the Russian tank from a very close range, only about 1 km, and caused heavy damage to the tank. The T-90M responded with its powerful 125mm main gun.

Two M2 Bradley IFVs are under the command of the 47th Ukrainian Mechanized Brigade. With the advantage of better quality electro-optical systems and very accurate rapid fire with high mobility, the M2 Bradleys disabled the T-90M Proryv by shooting out all of its sights. Notably, the video shows the Russian tank’s turret rotating non-stop, showing that it had a broken control system, where the tank is most exposed and susceptible – at the juncture of the hull and the turret housing the gun systems. The MBT then continued to crash into a tree and stopped. Finally, the FPV drone entered the fight and finished off the Russian tank when it was immobilized.

The developments in the above battle show that Russian tank factories will have to make efforts to improve the aiming equipment on their tanks, and at the same time need to research to enhance their mobility, especially when moving backwards.

It is noteworthy that exactly one month earlier, on December 13, 2023 in the village of Stepovoye, near Avdiivka, the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle also won against another Russian IFV, the BMP-2. The Western press then analyzed the battle between the M2A2 Bradley of the 47th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Russian BMP-2. This IFV detected the Russian BMP-2 thanks to high-quality thermal imaging equipment. US-made armored vehicles began firing M792 explosive fragmentation rounds at the BMP-2. Some rounds plowed the ground or exploded when hitting trees, others hit Russian infantry fighting vehicles. Surprised, the BMP-2 quickly fled, notably exposing its weaker armor to enemy fire.

The battles have emphasized the decisive role of “see first – shoot first” in the outcome of combat, demonstrated by the superiority of the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. The American-made IFV is equipped with many modern sensors, including a passive thermal imaging sight, providing very good night combat capabilities, something that Russian vehicles are inferior to. After the successful performances of the M2 Bradley, analysts are eager to see how the M1 Abrams tank will prove its superiority in a direct confrontation with Russian armor.

Elsewhere, Ukraine is struggling with a shortage of military equipment, and is facing challenges for a year of fierce fighting ahead. Ukrainian soldiers even had to dismantle Russian combat vehicles to get spare parts. Ukraine’s military prospects are becoming increasingly bleak. Western military aid is no longer guaranteed at the same level as in previous years. Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive in the south, has ended and failed to achieve any of its goals.

Currently, the Russian military is dominant, especially in the east of the country. Russia has more resources: manpower, ammunition and equipment. But according to the New York Times, neither side has outstanding tactics that can lead to a breakthrough on the battlefield. Instead, the conflict has fallen into a state of tension in which no one has been able to reverse the situation.

For Ukraine, personnel shortages are only part of the problem. Another and more pressing problem is that Ukraine’s ammunition reserves are running out while supplies from the West are still not guaranteed. Washington’s proposal for Ukraine to go on the defensive by 2024 makes no sense if Kiev does not have enough ammunition or manpower to defend its remaining territory, analysts said.

When foreign aid began to trickle, Ukraine decided to strengthen its domestic defense industrial base to ensure its own production of weapons to counter Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the state-owned defense industry will play an important role in the country’s long-term self-defense ability.

But, Developing a defense industrial complex to compete with Russia is a giant challenge for Ukraine. Russia owns one of the largest weapons production systems in the world, with nearly 3 million workers, supplying the military and exporting globally. Even the West has recently been dealing with the challenge of increasing defense production capacity.


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