‘Ugly’ explosion after an explosives-laden MT-LB steps on a mine
A powerful blast was seen from a Russian multipurpose, fully amphibious, tracked armored vehicle known as the MT-LB when it self-detonated. Drone imagery shot in the Donetsk region vividly captured the incident just moments before and during the explosion.
The shocking event unfolded near Vodianoe, a Russian soldier daringly abandoned the MT-LB, leaving it engaged to travel in a straight direction. With full knowledge that the vehicle was laden with explosives, the soldier quickly cleared away, heading in the opposite direction.
However, the MT-LB’s mission to penetrate the Ukrainian troops’ positions in the locality failed. While en route, the war vehicle unknowingly crossed paths with a landmine. You can almost anticipate the unfolding chaos. The explosion of the mine triggered a simultaneous detonation of all the explosives housed within the MT-LB.
The detonation was both fierce and horrendous. The cataclysmic incident unfolded in the blink of an eye, with the shockwave from the explosion perceptible in the released footage. The blast hurled debris far and wide, spreading over a distance of at least 50 meters.
Not for the first time
The precise time of the incident captured in this shared video still remains nebulous. Disseminated on November 16th through pro-Russian Telegram accounts, it illustrated a failed attempt by the MT-LB to obliterate Ukrainian positions; an early activation of a mine led to the untimely explosion.
BulgarianMilitary.com reiterates that this sort of occurrence is quite routine in Ukraine’s war, particularly on the Russian front. To recap an instance, BulgarianMilitary.com, back in June, had broadcasted footage of a Soviet T-54/55 tank operation which strikingly mirrored this recent event, nonetheless involving a different military vehicle.
In affirmation with Russian sources, the said tank was laden with aircraft bombs. It had embarked on a kamikaze mission, crawling towards the Ukrainian soldiers nestled in their trenches. However, the tank’s covert operation was compromised when it was noticed by the enemy lines.
One quick-thinking Ukrainian soldier launched an anti-tank missile, blowing up the tank from a safe distance way before it could reach the Ukrainian military positions in the zone. The force of that detonation managed to surpass the power of the explosion caused by the aforementioned self-destruction of the MT-LB.
In contrast to Ukraine, Russia doesn’t face a dearth of quantities, particularly in terms of vintage Soviet war machines. There are tens of thousands of T-54/55 tanks stored within the confines of the Russian Federation. This isn’t the first instance we’re mentioning the reallocation of such armament to the front line.
The same holds true for the available MT-LBs. Over the years, the Kharkiv Tractor Plant has churned out thousands of these vehicles, a considerable chunk of which reside within Russian territories. Russia boasts of several MT-LB versions, including MT-LBM [izdeliye 6M], 2S24, MT-LBVMK, the Toros variant, and MT-LB 2M-3 Conversion.
Post the dissolution of the Iron Curtain, Ukraine still retains a substantial number of Soviet MT-LBs. However, Ukraine grapples with a severe scarcity of ammunition, rendering the use of combat vehicles like kamikazes unattainable.
Seated at the front of the vehicle, you find the driver and commander/gunner with an engine placed right behind them. Right at the rear, there’s a compartment spacious enough to accommodate up to 11 infantry personnel or shoulder a 2,000-kilogram cargo [about 4,400 lb]. Even more impressive, you’ll be able to tow as much as 6,500 kilograms [or 14,300 lb]. Plus, it comes fully equipped to tackle water bodies, expertly propelled by its sturdy tracks.
Featured at the front of the vehicle is a compact turret, home to a 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. This weapon system comes with a manual traverse that allows for 360-degree rotation on its axis and pitches at an elevation between -5 to +30 degrees. Its armor, although light, effectively resists small arms and shell splinters.
The steel thickness ranges from three to ten millimeters [0.12 to 0.39 in] at its highest, and for the turret front, it peaked at 14 millimeters [0.55 in]. You’ll see several weapon systems like the Strela-10 or SNAR-10 utilizing this hull design.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.
In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.
Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.
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