Ukrainian tank storms Russian trenches near Bakhmut

Assault brigade carry out an AFV attack on Russian trenches near Bakhmut

Ukrainian soldiers have released a terrifying video of an orchestrated attack on Russian forces trapped in a trench to the west of Bakhmut. The 5th Brigade can be seen storming the trenches south of Ivanivske, Donetsk, using a tank and an infantry fighting vehicle to pave the way for their soldiers on foot, who subsequently march up the zig-zagging Russian line killing those trapped under heavy fire.

Intense fighting has been taking place to the west of Bakhmut this week, with Ukraine’s General Staff reporting that Russian attacks had been repelled near Ivanivske and further north near Bohdanivka.

In the footage, a tank is seen running along the left hand side of the trench in Donetsk Oblast, firing off multiple rounds and disturbing the foundations of the Russian cover.

A more agile infantry fighting vehicle, armed with a mounted machine gun, then takes over from the retreating tank, which is more vulnerable to ground attacks from soldiers.

The heavy duty gun opened fire on the Russian soldiers in the trench, who began to crawl through the zig-zagging cover in an attempt to flee.

Four Ukrainian soldiers then appear from the rear of the IFV and fire off a missile from their shoulder-mounted rocket launcher towards the trench.

With the machine gun still providing covering fire, the Ukrainian soldiers proceed to advance on the trench and steadily move up the tunnel stalking any survivors.

Russian casualty numbers were unclear, but the brutal footage ends by showing a trail of bodies lining the trench.

The video was posted by the Ukrainian 5th Separate Assault Brigade but the attack is believed to have also involved the 24th Separate Assault Battalion, also known as the Aidar Battalion.

It is unclear when the incident took place but it was geolocated in mid-March. The absence of serious boggy conditions, which is now commonplace in the areas surrounding Bakhmut as the winter ground continues to thaw, appear to corroborate the March date suggestion.

But fighting has been ongoing this week in Ivanivske, according to the Ukrainian General Staff, with Russian attacks in the area being repelled.

A Russian milblogger has recently speculated that Russian forces may now attempt a double encirclement around Bakhmut by first surrounding the southwestern regions, including Ivanivske, to cut off supply lines to Chasiv Yar, further west.

The Russian commentator added that the invading forces could then proceed further north to cut off Ukrainian lines through Khromove.

There have been competing claims over who is in control of Bakhmut, with Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin posting a video of the placing of a Russian flag in the administrative centre of the city in the last week.

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But from geolocated footage, it appears that the western regions of Bakhmut remain under contention.

The besieged city has been the site of the hottest fighting on the frontline in Ukraine for more than seven months.

While its strategic value seems questionable, the mercenary Wagner Group has sacrificed up to 30,000 of their men to conquer the city. Many believe the importance of the city has become symbolic as Prigozhin looks to prove the worth of his forces to Vladimir Putin.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he would withdraw his troops if a possible Russian encirclement looked inevitable.

Speaking during a news conference in Poland, he said: “For me, the most important is not to lose our soldiers and of course if there is a moment of even hotter events and the danger we could lose our personnel because of encirclement—of course the corresponding correct decisions will be taken by generals there.”

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