Watch: 152mm laser-guided shell hit tank near Mariupol’s Azovstal

KYIV, ($1=30.20 Ukrainian Hryvnias) — One of the most active followers of the war in Ukraine – Ukraine Weapons Tracker [Twitter account] published a video claiming that a Russian laser-guided 152mm artillery shell struck and destroys a Ukrainian tank near the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.

Watch: 152mm laser-guided shell hit tank near Mariupol's Azovstal
Photo: Twitter

There is no information on whether the video reflects events that took place in the last 24 hours, or since the beginning of the siege of the Ukrainian Azovstal iron and steelworks – the last and occupied bastion of the Ukrainian military unit known as Azov.

Twitter compresses each published video to the size so that it meets the requirements of the social network. At first, it is difficult to predict whether the target is a tank or other armored vehicle. When you stop the video in a certain frame and clear the brightness, it becomes clear that it really is a tank.

Watch: 152mm laser-guided shell hit tank near Mariupol's Azovstal
Photo: Twitter

Another Twitter profile [erich_auerbach] claims that the attack on the Ukrainian tank may have happened in recent days because according to him, the position of the tank is 47.107319, 37.613901, ie. this is the position of a region close to the factory’s administrative building, which was recently taken over.

Watch: 152mm laser-guided shell hit tank near Mariupol's Azovstal
Photo: Twitter

Azovstal Iron and Steelworks

Azovstal Iron and Steelworks is an industrial complex in the southeastern part of the city, near the port, which stretches for 11 square kilometers. It consists of a complex network of warehouses, railways, and underground tunnels, where Ukrainian troops and civilian defense teams are hiding to survive the constant bombing. According to Ukrainian authorities, the plant has nearly 1,000 civilians, including women and children.

“The Azovstal plant is a huge space with so many buildings that the Russians simply cannot find [Ukrainian forces],” Oleg Zhdanov, a Kyiv-based military analyst, told Reuters. For the past few days, the plant has been the subject of continuous heavy artillery fire.

It could be a 2K25 Krasnopol shell

Not many things are clear from the video: when the artillery attack took place, whether the tank was Ukrainian, and whether a 152mm laser-guided artillery shell was actually used.

Watch: 152mm laser-guided shell hit tank near Mariupol's Azovstal
Photo: Wikipedia

If we assume that the statement of Ukraine Weapons Tracker is true, it is quite possible the 2K25 Krasnopol to be that artillery shell. There are already documented cases of its use in the war in Ukraine. Except in Ukraine 2K25 Krasnopol continues to be used in the war in Syria. This artillery shell is in service in Russia, Syria, Ukraine, Algeria, China, and India.

2K25 Krasnopol weighs 50 kg and in addition to 152 mm caliber, a 155 mm caliber variant is also produced. The operational range is from 20 to 25 km and uses the HE warhead.

2K25 Krasnopol artillery shells are fired mainly from Soviet self-propelled howitzers such as the 2S3 Akatsiya and 2S19 Msta-S and intended to engage small ground targets such as tanks, other direct-fire weapons, strong-points, or other significant point targets visible to the observer. It can be used against both stationary and moving targets [providing these remain within the observer’s field of view].

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

Ukraine loses Bayraktar TB2 UAVs - both over Ukraine and Russia
Photo credit: Twitter

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.


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