Just a day after reports indicated that Russia had successfully destroyed at least one Leopard 2 tank on June 7, an American Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) was also annihilated, marking the first loss of the IFV in Ukraine.
Online OSINT accounts and weapon tracker groups revealed in an update on June 9 that the Russian army destroyed the first Ukrainian M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA IFV in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. The photo of the wrecked vehicle was widely shared on social media.
According to the updates posted on social media, there were three more Bradleys, a Leopard 2A6 tank, and a BMR-2 armored demining equipment which could be seen damaged and abandoned nearby the first destroyed Bradley. At least 4 Bradley IFVs have been destroyed so far.
The report comes after Oryx, a Dutch open-source intelligence (OSINT) defense analysis website, verified the destruction of the German-made Leopard 2 tank by the Russian forces.
The destruction of the German-origin tank was confirmed after the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) released footage showing a convoy of Leopard 2 and other Ukrainian armored vehicles traversing an unpaved road outside occupied Novopokrovka or the neighboring Mala Tokmachka. One of the tanks, in the footage, can be seen falling victim to a devastating Russian artillery strike.
Three more Bradleys, a Leopard 2A6 tank and a BMR-2 armored demining equipment can be seen damaged and abandoned nearby. pic.twitter.com/r7I04KEFcF
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 9, 2023
The destruction of Ukraine’s vaunted Western-grade equipment – Leopard-2 and Bradley IFV – comes at a time when Kyiv’s much-anticipated counteroffensive is underway with forces marching across the battlefield on several fronts, aided by NATO-donated Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).
On June 9, subsequent visuals posted to social media depicted further losses of Western equipment incurred by the advancing Ukrainian army. In a set of images shared by an online war tracking group, another abandoned Leopard 2A6 tank and Bradley IFV with abandoned bodies of Ukrainian soldiers could be seen.
Four damaged/destroyed Bradley M2A2 IFV's after a Ukrainian assault in the Zaporizhzia region. Also a BMR-2 deminer, a Leopard 2A6 and two other pieces can be seen. This footage is claimed to be 2-3 days old, so this could be from the beginning of the clashes in the region. pic.twitter.com/h25ZDEoLqN
— NOELREPORTS ?? ?? (@NOELreports) June 9, 2023
Meanwhile, an unverified video doing rounds on social media depicted a Russian Ka-52 Alligator chopper firing Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) on a suspected Bradley IFV. The veracity of the video cannot be independently verified by EurAsian Times.
After the first destroyed Bradley IFV was documented, a flurry of visual evidence of several other Bradley vehicles has proliferated on social media.
However, assuaging the concerns, pro-Ukraine social media accounts and military watchers emphasized that Ukraine still has 98% of all modern NATO tanks and modern NATO IFVs delivered when accounting for visually confirmed losses during Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
As the counteroffensive progresses, the number of tanks and IFV losses could be revised. The pro-Russian military watchers have pegged the number of Ukrainian losses much higher.
It is impossible to gauge the exact number of vehicles lost in the Zaporizhzia counteroffensive.
Stiff Russian Resistance
According to Ukrainian sources, intense fighting has been seen on the front lines after the military launched its long-awaited counteroffensive. There are “very tough battles” going on in the eastern Donetsk region, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, “but there is a result.”
He also praised the actions of the Ukrainian military in Bakhmut. “Good work. Step by step,” he said.
Although Ukraine has previously warned that no single move would serve as the official launch of the offensive, no official declaration has yet been made regarding the counteroffensive. However, four service members told The Washington Post that Ukrainian forces increased their strikes in the southeast this week.
The offensive, which could last for several months, will test the effectiveness of a plan devised by the United States to arm and train Ukrainian forces with ever-more-advanced equipment. Going by ground reports, the fighting between the two sides is in full swing.
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) June 8, 2023
With both sides suffering significant losses over the past five days, Ukrainian mechanized brigades are stepping up their assaults on Bakhmut in the Donetsk region and the neighboring Zaporizhzhia. However, they look to be meeting severe Russian resistance.
“Ukrainian forces conducted a limited, but still significant attack in the western Zaporizhzhia region on the night of June 7 to 8,” the Institute for the Study of War reported in its daily update. “Russian forces defended against this attack in a doctrinally sound manner and had reportedly regained their initial positions as of June 8.”
According to the Washington-based think group, a geolocated video indicated that Ukrainian forces probably breached a first line of defense between Robotyne and Verbove, roughly 15 kilometers southeast of the important town of Orikhiv.
Russian forces, however, seem to have forced Ukrainian forces to retreat to retake their original positions. Along the border between the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia districts, Velyka Novosilka is reportedly the scene of heavy fighting.
Incidentally, this is the same location where Ukraine recently lost its Leopard-2 tanks and Bradley IFVs.
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