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Video shows a Ukrainian drone finding an easy way around a Russian tank's 'turtle' defenses

Thibault Spirlet   

Video shows a Ukrainian drone finding an easy way around a Russian tank's 'turtle' defenses
  • A Ukrainian drone found an easy way to get around a Russian tank's "turtle" defenses, a video shows.
  • Ukraine's Ministry of Defence said those inside forgot to close the tank's hatch.

A dramatic video shared by Ukraine's defense ministry on Wednesday showed an aerial drone finding a simple way around a Russian tank's formidable "turtle" defenses.

The footage, captured by Ukraine's 93rd Mechanized Brigade, shows the drone racing toward a Russian tank before sneaking through an open hatch at the front of the armored vehicle, before blowing up.

"Occupiers made a 'turtle' tank but forgot to close a hatch... Ukraine's drone pilots don't forgive such mistakes," Ukraine's Ministry of Defence said in the accompanying text.

Ukraine's 93rd Mechanized Brigade, which shared a longer version of the video on Wednesday, said the attack took place near the city of Bakhmut.

It described the tank as sentencing itself to death when it drove onto a dam previously mined by its soldiers. Pilots of the brigades's Black Raven unit then took out the paralyzed tank, it said.

It didn't specify when the attack took place.

Russia has resorted to outfitting some of its tanks with crude metal structures to try to combat deadly threats on the battlefield, including exploding drones.

One "turtle" tank was spotted fitted out with a tent-like metal structure, while another one was seen with pallets on it.

Improvised armor can be as simple as a chain-link cage wrapped around the outside of a vehicle, often referred to as "cope cages." Military observers question their effectiveness.

These makeshift and often unwieldy efforts are intended to provide a last-ditch defense against inbound projectiles such as artillery, anti-tank missiles, or small drones.

Ukraine has previously released videos showing drones taking out Russian "turtle" tanks on the battlefield.

But in a post on X in April, Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said that modifications show Russians are adjusting to the battlefield, where Ukraine has a lot of first-person-view drones but not enough anti-tank missiles, mines, and artillery.

"So sacrificing observation and the ability to rotate the turret on one tank per platoon that can jam many FPVs frequencies at once makes sense," he said.

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