Ukraine Situation Report: Wild Video Shows Bradley Blasting Another In Training
A soldier is lucky to be alive after the Ukrainian Bradley he was standing next to caught a round from another Bradley during training.
A video has emerged on social media showing what nearly became a case of fratricide as one U.S-donated Ukrainian Bradley Fighting Vehicle fired upon another.
The undated video, taken at an undisclosed training range location, shows one Bradley speeding around another, firing several rounds from its Bushmaster M242 25 mm automatic cannon. The second Bradley was stopped and a soldier, seen standing near its hatch, ducks just before at least one round hit its turret. Another soldier, hands on his hips, observes the situation, before being covered in dust spewed by the firing Bradley and disappearing off camera.
Why that happened, or whether the firing crew was disciplined is unknown.
Speaking of Kyiv's Bradleys, a rare image emerged on social media of one of the four U.S.-donated M7 Bradley Fire Support Team (BFIST) variants in Ukraine. The BFISTs have additional optics, computers, and communications systems, as well as a laser range finder/designator, designed to coordinate fires. The idea behind the Bradley BFIST is to have a command vehicle that can find targets and communicate their location to an assortment of friendly platforms, ranging from tube to and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).
The Bradley is an important part of Ukraine's ongoing counteroffensive. To date, the U.S. has promised 190 Bradleys to Ukraine, including the four BFISTs. So far, Ukraine has seen at least 52 of those taken off the battlefield, according to the Oryx open-source tracking group. Of those, at least 26 have been destroyed, at least 21 damaged and at least five damaged and abandoned. The actual figures could be higher, because Oryx only tabulates losses for which it has visual confirmation.
There is no doubt there will be more such losses as Ukraine continues to try and retake territory against deep Russian defenses, artillery, drone and tactical aviation attacks.
Before we head into the latest news from Ukraine, The War Zone readers can catch up on our previous rolling coverage here.
Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Directorate (GUR) on Friday released video it says shows one of its drones coming under attack by a Russian Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopter near Cape Tarkhankut, the western-most point of the Crimean peninsula.
The 19-second clip, taken from the GUR drone, shows it being attacked by the helicopter, which missed the target. It's another example of how hard it is to hit a small, slow moving object like a drone with unguided munitions, even from a helicopter that can keep pace with it.
The GUR claimed that its drones are increasingly surviving in contested airspace and that this one was attacked by two Russian helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft, though the video only appears to show one helicopter.
“UAVs of the Main Directorate of Intelligence are increasingly coming out unscathed not only after meeting with Rashist air defense, but also in direct collision with enemy aircraft,” the GUR claimed. “In the video, a Ukrainian UAV flying in the area of Cape Tarkhankut is being chased by two combat helicopters and one plane. Despite continuous fire, our drone left the 'battlefield' unscathed and successfully returned to base.”
It is unclear when the video was taken and given that the clip is short, there is no way of knowing whether the drone actually survived. The last time the Russians said to have downed a Ukrainian drone over the Black Sea was Aug. 29.
“An attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack by a fixed-wing UAV against facilities on the territory of the Russian Federation was foiled today at around 1 p.m. Moscow time," the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) claimed on its Telegram channel that day. "The UAV was intercepted and crashed in the waters of the Black Sea.”
it is unknown whether that claim and the video released by the GUR are related. But either way, this was just the latest combat to take place on and above this area.
Jutting out into the Black Sea, the cape and Russian air defenses and radars placed on it, are logical targets, as we have previously reported.
On Aug. 24, Ukraine's 32nd Independence Day, the GUR carried out a raid there, claiming one of its special units engaged Russians in combat, killed troops, destroyed equipment and planted the Ukrainian flag. The War Zone could not indecently verify those claims.
There were unconfirmed reports that Ukraine also struck a Russian Bastion coastal missile system in that same area. Known by the NATO designation SSC-5 Stooge, it launches P-800 Oniks anti-ship missiles. Those have been also used in their secondary surface-strike role for attacks on Odesa and Mykolaiv. Russia began launching those attacks from Crimea in the early phase of the invasion. You can read more about that in our story here.
Olenivka, where the S-400 battery was located, is about 90 miles south of the front lines in Kherson Oblast and about 115 miles southeast of Odesa. Taking out that system, as we previously reported, "would potentially open a hole in Russia's air defense overlay of the peninsula and the northwestern Black Sea. This could go a long way to ensuring the survivability of standoff strike weapons, like Storm Shadow and SCALP-EG, and other attacks, such as those by long-range kamikaze drones."
On the battlefield, more combat video is emerging as Ukraine continues that push south through Zaporizhzhia Oblast and the critical first lines of Russian defensive barriers in and around towns like Novoprokopivka and Verbove.
This video below shows what is purported to be Ukrainian troops capturing a trench along the Novprokopivka-Verbove axis held by the paratroopers of Russia's vaunted VDV airborne forces. Those are among Russia's most effective troops, who have been transferred from other areas to shore up the southern front.
Elsewhere in that area, video emerged of destroyed Russian armor along a dirt path carved out by by the tracks of vehicles that have gone this way before. Note that the path is along a slight rise, making it a tactically important area for both sides.
Drone strikes into its territory have been an ongoing problem for Russia. On a daily basis, the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) lists several such incidents, which It invariably describes as being thwarted by Russian air defenses.
In the past two days alone, the Russian MoD listed one drone attack near Moscow and two in Bryansk Oblast on Thursday and two in Belgorod Oblast today.
An image emerged on social media that appears to show one of those incidents somewhere in Bryansk, which is just north of Ukraine's Chernihiv Oblast. The drone appears to be a UJ-22 drone, one of which was found on the ground in April, laden with explosives, near Moscow.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday said his nation needs about 100 more F-16 Vipers than the “50 to 60” promised so far by Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.
“Today we have the agreement regarding the future delivery of 50, 60 [F-16s],” Zelensky said in an exclusive interview with the Portuguese RTP media outlet. fighters (F-16). “In all we need about 160 fighters, to have a powerful air force that does not give Russia the possibility to dominate the airspace.”
As we reported in the past, Denmark has pledged 19 F-16s to Ukraine, the Netherlands some portion of the 42 (if not eventually all) they have and Norway has promised between five and 10. You can read more about that in our story here and about other nations that could also supply them in our story here.
Zelensky lamented to RTP that this help has come “later than I wanted” and that Russian domination of the skies is “absolute.”
The fighters must be operational in the Ukrainian skies "at the beginning of next year," Zelensky said, acknowledging that the issue is complex, because it requires training not only of pilots but also of engineers and highly specialized maintenance.
"We are fighting with Russia, we are fighting for our Ukrainian land, against the invasive policy of the Russian Federation. We need fighter jets merely to defend ourselves. To defend our land, our sea, our sky," he said.
Zelensky also hinted that the fourth-generation fighters could also be used to ensure that “Russia illegally does not rule in the Black Sea and does not reign Russia’s aggression by blocking our grain corridors in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.”
Speaking of F-16s for Ukraine, two days after Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollengren on Tuesday announced that Romania will host an F-16 training center for Ukrainian pilots and maintainers that she said will include assistance from Lockheed Martin, the defense contractor issued a statement of its own.
The training is for Romanians now, and maybe later for Ukrainians, the company explained Thursday.
Lockheed Martin is partnering with the Netherlands and Romania to “enhance mission readiness through a comprehensive F-16 training solution for Romanian pilots,” OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager, Integrated Fighter Group for Lockheed Martin said in a statement.
The center will focus on ensuring effectiveness and safety of Romanians flying and operating F-16 fighters and could eventually expand that effort to include training in the future for Ukraine.
“Once details are finalized, we are confident the training center will ultimately benefit Romania and other regional F-16 operators, including potentially Ukraine,” added Sanchez.
Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine's National Security Council, on Thursday unveiled the first video of Kyiv's new, domestically produced cruise missile being launched. He also issued a warning that it will be used on Crimea and on targets in Russia as well.
In a Tweet on Thursday, Danilov shared video of a night launch of the weapon, which a Ukrainian defense official tells us the same modified Neptune anti-ship missile that hit the S-400 air defense system in Crimea on Aug. 23 that we wrote about earlier in this story.
"The missile program of the President of Ukraine in action," Danilov wrote. "The tests are successful, the application is effective."
You can read more about this missile - which the defense official told us has a range of about 250 miles and a payload of about 770 pounds - in our story here.
Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday offered a blunt response to those who have criticized the pace of the ongoing counteroffensive.
"To criticize the slow pace of the counteroffensive is to spit in the face of the Ukrainian soldier who sacrifices his life every day, advancing forward and liberating one kilometer of Ukrainian land after another," he said during a media briefing following an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Toledo, Spain. "I would advise all critics to shut up, come to Ukraine, and try to liberate one square centimeter themselves."
Ukraine released video of its special operations forces assembling a strike drone, loading it with munitions in a bomb bay, then launching it. The video then cuts to an operator guiding the drone, then a scene purporting to show the destruction of a Russian command post in Bakhmut. The video ends with the drone deploying a parachute and being recovered by the Ukrainian SOF unit.
If you ever wondered what it was like to hang out atop a Leopard-2A4 tank somewhere on the southern front, check out this video below. For the moment, anyway, all is quiet.
Another Russian tank apparently succumbed to a Ukrainian First Person Video (FPV) drone, which you can see in this video below. Watch to the end for an interesting comparison to the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
And finally, audio emerged on social media that supposed depicts a remarkable crank call. It purports to be a conversation with an emergency services operator in Pskov, Russia, where the Kresty Air Base was attacked by drones. The attack destroyed two IL-76 Candid jet transports and damaged two others, which you can read more about in our story here.
Take a listen how this turns out.
That's it for now. We'll update this story when there's more news to report about Ukraine.
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