Ukrainian T-72 Tank That Ran Over MRAP Seen In New Ground-Level Video
Exactly why the T-72 ended up on top of the MaxxPro MRAP remains a bit of a mystery.
Video has emerged showing a ground-level perspective of a Ukrainian T-72 tank that rolled over and crushed a Ukrainian Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored vehicle. Earlier footage of that incident, filmed from above via a Russian drone, began circulating online last week. You can read The War Zone’s previous article on that incident here.
The video in question was shared earlier today on the Ukrainian Karymat Telegram channel. The T-72 and MRAP – a MaxxPro – were located “near the Vremyevsky ledge in the Donetsk direction” at the time, according to Karymat. However, The War Zone cannot independently confirm the date or location of where the incident occurred.
In the most recent footage of the vehicles, we see Ukrainian soldiers approaching the crashed T-72, which sits on top of the MRAP at a steep angle.
Initially seen from the front, the video then cuts to a side view of the T-72, showing its main gun pointed towards the ground. The steep angle at which the tank is sitting is underscored in the clip as one of the soldiers climbs up the side of the MRAP. For a sense of the heights of those vehicles, MaxxPros stand at around 115 to 120 inches (9.58 feet to 10 feet) high from ground to roof (not counting the height of the turret on top), while T-72s stand at around 86 inches (7.16 feet) high.
The video also appears to show the MRAP sitting in some kind of depression, which would have made it easier for the T-72 to get up on top of it. Equally, this may have just been caused by the weight of the tank bearing down on the MRAP.
As we highlighted in our previous piece, drone footage prior to the incident (which can be seen below) showed the T-72 pushing the MRAP on a dirt road along a tree line. A Russian Lancet loitering munition subsequently appeared to hit the T-72 around its right skirt. Despite this, the tank continued to push the MRAP into a field before backing over it – causing at least one soldier and perhaps a second to hastily flee the MRAP.
While the new video seems to confirm the drone’s-eye footage released by the Russian VOIN DV Telegram channel, the exact reason why the incident occurred in the first place remains unknown.
In our analysis of the original drone footage of the incident, we posited the likelihood that Ukrainian forces may have deliberately chosen to try and destroy the MRAP by reversing over it. This would likely have been a move to prevent the vehicle from being recovered fully intact by Russian forces, or for its use for propaganda.
Other claims said this was somehow an accident caused by impending Lancet strikes. It is hard to see how that is possible.
For instance, the Karymat Telegram channel that posted the video states:
"The trophy T-72B3, which ran into the MRAP MaxxPro in the area of the Vremyevsky ledge in the Donetsk direction
The tank evacuated the armored vehicle, but at that moment it was hit by a Russian kamikaze drone "Lancet", as a result of the commotion, a collision occurred."
Regardless, for now, why exactly these two heavily armored vehicles ended up in sandwich form remains a bit of a mystery.
In all, over 500 MRAPs have been donated to Ukraine from the U.S., and other countries have given different makes and variations. As per the Oryx open source intelligence group, Ukraine is visually confirmed to have lost 41 U.S.-donated M1224 MaxxPro vehicles during the conflict, including 28 destroyed, seven damaged, four abandoned, and two captured.
We will update this story with any new information when it becomes available.
From a U.S. defense official with years of armor operations experience who reviewed and provided commentary on the videos in our original piece and has looked at this new footage:
"No change. Adding that the tank got stuck high center of the MRAP in the attempt to destroy it, they couldn’t. The tank “climbed” the front hood instead and got stuck because it lost traction footing. There’s a false notion that tanks can crush anything but tanks have to follow the laws of physics. In this case, the tank climbed the MRAP instead of crushing it like a normal truck. The MRAP is a very sturdy vehicle built to with stand massive explosions and keep its box shape in case of a rollover. The tank lost traction “climbing” the MRAP. It’s basically hanging off a cliff, unable to move.
The good news for the Ukrainian Army is that this tank, unless it was hit by something afterwards, is a fully operational tank. They just need to get a recovery vehicle and pull it off gently without ripping the track off because the track can get stuck on something on that MRAP frame."
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