- It’s the first time a Challenger 2 tank has been destroyed by enemy fire
- The main battle tank was hit by a missile on a battlefield near Robotyne
- The village is considered one of the main targets for Ukraine’s counteroffensive
A UK-made Challenger 2 tank has become the first of its kind to be destroyed in Ukraine after being hit with a ‘guided missile’ on a battlefield near a key Russian stronghold.
The Frontbird Telegram channel shared a video of the moment the British main battle tank was hit with a ‘152 mm guided missile under the turret’ in a 6am battle near the Ukrainian village of Robotyne.
A large explosion can be seen before small fires nearby ignited, with severe burning being seen across the tank as thick grey smoke engulfs it.
Further aerial footage shows the tank was seemingly abandoned alongside three other military vehicles.
It was reportedly first hit by a Russian mine, which destroyed one of its fuel compartments, causing it to be immobilised before a drone struck it and destroyed it.
The Frontbird Telegram channel shared a video of the moment the British main battle tank was hit with a ‘152 mm guided missile under the turret’
The Challenger 2 is the British army’s main battle tank, and is typically crewed by four people, a commander, a gunner, a loader/operator, and a driver
Several fires were ignited following the missile attack against the tank
Frontbird admins said: ‘It is noteworthy that the Challenger burned for more than a day.
‘The reason for such a long burning could be uranium ammunition.’
The Challenger 2 is the British army’s main battle tank, and is typically crewed by four people, a commander, a gunner, a loader/operator, and a driver.
No Challenger 2 has been destroyed in combat since they were first deployed in 1994, though one was partially destroyed in a friendly-fire incident in Iraq in 2003.
The UK gave Ukraine 14 of the tanks earlier this year to support its war effort.
Robotyne is considered a key Russian stronghold on its southern frontlines given its proximity to one of Russia’s main logistics hubs in Tokmak.
It is also on the road to one of Ukraine’s main targets in its counteroffensive, Melitopol.
Ukraine claimed earlier this week that it has broken through Russia’s first line of defence for the stronghold.
Footage showed a large explosion engulf the British-made tank
Severe burning was seen across the tank’s body
Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavski told the Observer: ‘We are now between the first and second defensive lines.
‘In the centre of the offensive, we are now completing the destruction of enemy units that provide cover for the retreat of Russian troops behind their second defensive line.’
‘The enemy is pulling up reserves, not only from Ukraine but also from Russia. But sooner or later, the Russians will run out of all the best soldiers. This will give us an impetus to attack more and faster.
‘Everything is ahead of us.’
The push for Robotyne comes as a Russian attack on an eastern Ukrainian city killed 17 and left 32 more injured.
The attack on a crowded market in Kostiantynivka saw dozens fall as a huge explosion rocked the area.
It is believed a missile was fired on the industrial city, which sits just over 13 miles from the current frontlines.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy condemned the attack, saying a market, shops and a pharmacy had been struck in the industrial city close to the battlefield.
‘This Russian evil must be defeated as soon as possible,’ Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app.
‘When someone in the world still attempts to deal with anything Russian, it means turning a blind eye to this reality. The audacity of evil. The brazenness of wickedness. Utter inhumanity.’
He later told a press conference in Kyiv that he believed it had been a deliberate attack on ‘a peaceful city’.
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