Rare video appears to show destruction of Russian-backed separatists infantry fighting vehicle on Ukraine frontline

Ukrainian ATO/FacebookA screenshot from footage from the Ukrainian Military showing the burning remains of what it claims is a separatist infantry fighting vehicle that was destroyed on February 22, 2018.
  • The Ukrainian Military released a video that shows the destruction of what it claims is an infantry fighting vehicle on the frontline.
  • While ceasefire violations are common on the frontline, they rarely involve armoured vehicles, which are themselves rarely ever recorded.
  • Ukraine has been fighting Russian-backed separatists for almost four full years. While still a “frozen” conflict, it has taken more than 10,000 lives since its beginning.

The Ukrainian Military recorded what looks like a ceasefire violation on Thursday that resulted in the destruction of a separatist infantry fighting vehicle.

The incident took place near the city of Dokuchayevsk, just south of Donetsk, the capital of the self-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic. Video shows a guided anti-tank missile hit a vehicle while artillery strikes land in the area.

“An enemy infantry fighting vehicle has been destroyed near the occupied town of Dokuchayevsk thanks to the skills of servicemen from the ‘Mospyne’ tactical group of the United Forces,” according to a statement posted on the official account for Ukraine’s ongoing anti-terrorism operation.

The statement also said that the IFV was most likely on a reconnaissance mission. It is not immediately clear what type of IFV the vehicle is.

Ukraine has been fighting Russian-backed separatists in its Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts – a region known as Donbas. Two peace agreements have been signed between the warring parties and their sponsors, but ceasefire violations happen almost every day along the conflict line.

Thursday’s incident is particularly rare because it involved an IFV. According to Minsk II, one of the ceasefire agreements, heavy weapons like armoured vehicles and artillery are supposed to be withdrawn from the frontlines, in an effort to create a 31 mile long “security zone.”

The engagement comes amidst plans for the US to supply the Ukrainian military with 35 FGM-148 Javelin fire-and-forget anti-tank launchers, and at least 210 missiles.

The Javelin is one of the most advanced anti-tank weapon systems available, and has been requested by Ukraine repeatedly, but former President Barack Obama never approved the deal. The Trump administration now says the missiles are being provided to Ukraine strictly for defence.

Iryna Lutsenko, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, claimed on Friday that Canada and “European countries” will also provide Ukraine with weapons in the coming years.

Ukraine’s intelligence recently reported that up to 200 officers from the Russian Military arrived in the country as part of a rotation of Russian servicemen in the region.

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