Another of Putin’s prized T-90 supertanks blown sky high when attack hits ammo inside £3m vehicle

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Yet another advanced Russian T-90 tank has been destroyed in Ukraine, dramatic footage shows.

The £3million weapon of war was thought to be one of the world’s premier tanks, but a spate of destructions since Russia’s invasion began has thrown that into doubt.

Video posted on Telegram channel Butusov Plus appears to show the T-90, nicknamed the ‘Vladimir’, obliterated after its own ammunition is struck by a rocket.

Ukrainian veteran Butusov, who has more than half a million YouTube subscribers, claimed the attack was carried out by the air defence force in Kharkiv.

Before: the T-90 is blown to smithereens after its internal ammunition appears to have been struck by a rocket

After: Kharkiv's air defence force was through responsible

Before (left) and after (right): the T-90 is blown to smithereens after its internal ammunition appears to have been struck by a rocket. Kharkiv’s air defence force was through responsible

Within a few hours, the incredible footage had well over 80,000 YouTube views.

At least 20 Russian T-90 tanks plus two advanced T-90Ms, first built in 2016, are estimated to have been destroyed so far, open intelligence source Onyx claims.

As of this morning, the Ukrainian army claims to have destroyed a total of 1,792 tanks, up three from yesterday.

The vast majority are the less advanced T-72s, but at least a handful of T-90s are also thought to have been wrecked since the outbreak of war on February 24.

The £3million tank is thought to have joined at least 20 elite weapons of war wrecked so far

The £3million tank is thought to have joined at least 20 elite weapons of war wrecked so far

A destroyed Russian T-90 tank is displayed at an exhibition about the war in Prague last month

A destroyed Russian T-90 tank is displayed at an exhibition about the war in Prague last month

Footage first emerged of T-90s being destroyed by Ukrainian soldiers in early May, with a pair of verified losses by Russia prompting excitement in Kyiv.

Days after the first T-90 was destroyed, a second of the supertanks was wrecked with an £18,000 Swedish rocket launcher. 

Another is said to have been blown up with a £400 rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).

Another verified video in early May showed the T-90 destroyed by an £18,000 rocket launcher

Another verified video in early May showed the T-90 destroyed by an £18,000 rocket launcher

The T-90 is Russia’s most-advanced tank, with the base model entering service in 1992. Production ramped up in the late-2000s.

The T-90M is the latest version of the tank, first entering service in 2016.

Russia is thought to field around 1,000 of all T-90 variants, compared to around 5,000 T-72s – the tank the T-90 is based on and which has done the bulk of the fighting in Ukraine.

The incredible footage emerged as Russian tanks, trucks and artillery are amassing in southern Ukraine. Putin’s forces are seeking to tighten their grip on the region amid a valiant counter-offensive by Kyiv.

The Kherson region near Crimea has been under Kremlin control since March 2 after a bloody six-day battle, with Russians driving north from the occupied peninsula.

Yet the invaders have faced intense pushback by Ukraine over recent weeks, with Kyiv now confident it will liberate the region by September.

According to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) daily intelligence update this morning: ‘Long convoys […] continue to move away from Ukraine’s Donbas region and are headed southwest.’

The ruined Fabrika shopping mall in occupied southern capital Kherson (image from July)

The ruined Fabrika shopping mall in occupied southern capital Kherson (image from July)

Locals look at damage caused by Russian airstrikes on a residential street in eastern Ukraine

Locals look at damage caused by Russian airstrikes on a residential street in eastern Ukraine

The MoD added: ‘Battalion tactical groups (BTG), which comprise between 800 and 1,000 troops, have been deployed to Crimea and would almost certainly be used to support Russian troops in the Kherson region.

‘Ukrainian forces are focusing their targeting on bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in Ukraine’s southern regions.

‘Russia’s war on Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with the heaviest fighting shifting to a roughly 350km front line stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson, paralleling the Dnieper River.’

Meanwhile footage posted to Telegram appeared to show Ukrainian rockets strike a Russian armoured car – the type likely to be in the ‘long convoys’ said to be on their way to Kherson. 

Resident stands on ruined plants in Kostiantynivka, 50 miles south of Kyiv-held Kramatorsk

Resident stands on ruined plants in Kostiantynivka, 50 miles south of Kyiv-held Kramatorsk

The news comes amid reports of heinous Russian war crimes in Kherson ‘on a scale almost too sickening to contemplate’, according to Ukraine.

Pro-democracy campaigners in the city claim that in Kherson, Russians are hunted by snipers, ambushed and bombed. Thanks to consignments of Western arms, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) has the power to inflict serious damage.

The weapon the Russians fear most is the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), supplied by the US and capable of firing barrages of missiles from the back of an armoured lorry. 

Both manoeuvrable and lethally accurate, these rocket launchers are effectively unstoppable. They can wipe out an ammunition dump or a column of tanks in one hit.

The last consignment of HIMARS was expected to sustain the AFU for a month. But they blazed off the whole lot in three days — and with devastating effects.

Homeowners take in the horrific damage caused by the airstrike in Kostiantynivka yesterday

Homeowners take in the horrific damage caused by the airstrike in Kostiantynivka yesterday

Kherson regional governor Serhii Khlan vowed last week: ‘We can say that the Kherson region will definitely be liberated by September, and all the occupiers’ plans will fail.’

The bold predication came after a week in which Ukraine struck two key bridges leading to Kherson in an apparent attempt to cut the city off from reinforcements, and as video revealed destroyed Russian anti-air systems in the region.

Kherson is the only regional capital to have fallen to Putin’s troops in the five-month war and is Russia’s only foothold on the western bank of the Dnipro river which flows down the centre of Ukraine.

Recapturing it would deal a major propaganda blow to Putin’s forces, and spell a possible end to its attempts to push west along the Black Sea to the port of Odesa.

Russia’s generals have previously said that cutting off Ukraine from the Black Sea – denying Zelensky’s government access to its most-lucrative trading routes – is a key aim of their war.

Ballet dancers take part in a Ukraine Independence Day gathering in Odessa earlier today

Ballet dancers take part in a Ukraine Independence Day gathering in Odessa earlier today

Dev

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