Ukrainian Asgard group eliminates Russian T-72 and two air defense systems: video

According to Kiev, the Ukrainian Asgard group shot down a number of Russian weapons, including a T-72 tank, a multiple rocket launcher and several air defense systems.

The Asgard group destroyed a Russian T-72 tank and damaged another at an unspecified location, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, who leads Ukraine’s ground forces, said in a post on Telegram on Sunday.

The Ukrainian fighters also targeted and destroyed one of Russia’s 2S9 Nona self-propelled mortar systems, a BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher, an Msta-B towed howitzer and two Russian air defense systems, Syrskyi said.

In a video accompanying the post, a collection of clips apparently filmed by Ukrainian drones show a series of attacks that the Ukrainian military describes based on the equipment allegedly destroyed.

A destroyed Russian T-72 tank
A destroyed Russian T-72 tank in the village of Bohorodychne in eastern Ukraine on December 20, 2022. Ukraine’s Asgard group shot down a number of Russian weapons, including a T-72 tank, a multiple rocket launcher and several air defense systems, Kiev said.
Sameer Al-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine has often released drone footage purporting to show Kiev’s troops attacking Russian targets, but Newsweek Details of the footage, including when and where it was shot, cannot be independently verified. The Russian Defense Ministry was contacted via email for comment.

The Asgard group, described by The Associated Press as an “elite drone force,” is among many Ukrainian units using a variety of drones to gain the upper hand in the 20-month-long war. The unmanned aerial vehicles are used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the front line in many areas, including conducting kamikaze attacks and locating and targeting Russian assets.

Ukraine’s General Staff said in an update posted on social media on Sunday that Russia had lost eight tanks in the past 24 hours. According to the Kyiv military, Russia has lost a total of 5,175 tanks since February 2022, but it is not clear whether Ukraine included the T-72 in Syrskyi’s update in this count.

According to Dutch open-source intelligence agency Oryx, Russia has lost a confirmed 2,437 tanks between February 24, 2022 and early October 2023. Of these, more than half are variants of the T-72. The branch only records losses whose destruction has been proven by video recordings or photos.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that Ukraine lost 12,980 tanks and other armored vehicles in the war.

Syrskyi’s numbers come as fighting in Ukraine enters the more difficult fall and winter months and Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive changes with the seasons.

In the coming weeks there will be “a new round of fighting,” Frederik Mertens, strategic analyst at the Hague Center for Strategic Studies, said previously Newsweek.

Mechanized warfare will not stop with the seasons, he said, as long as both sides are equipped to fight in the new conditions. “Frozen ground is ideal for mechanized advances, so we can expect a new round of fighting and probing to begin in December,” he said.