Spetsnaz conducted a nighttime sabotage, destroying a Leopard tank

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The Russian Federation’s Special Operations Forces, often dubbed as the ‘Army Elite’ or ‘Spetsnaz’, recently publicized a seldom-seen video recounting one of their covert operations in the conflict zone of Ukraine. According to Russian military reports, the Spetsnaz unit Vega successfully demolished a Leopard tank from the Ukrainian camps on the battlefield. 

Photo credit: TopWar

The video uploaded online depicts a Leopard tank, of German manufacture, maneuvering down the road before meeting a catastrophic end—a direct hit culminating in an explosion. The fate of the tank crew, such as potential casualties, injuries, or possible evacuations post-impact, remains undisclosed. The video clearly features the tank in movement, implying that the assault took place while the tank was operational. The Spetsnaz strategically capitalized on the obscurity of darkness, making their drone attack undetected, as there’s no apparent danger seen by the moving tank crew. 

Losses in warfare are not uncommon; the Ukrainian army faces regular damage to their Western military equipment in combat zones. Although the Russian army isn’t completely impervious, encountering daily attacks on their equipment by Ukraine’s armed forces is assured. However, contrary to the anticipation of Western political leaders, supplying military hardware to Ukraine hasn’t been a significant game-changer. In fact, Western military experts concluded that even an influx of American or European military equipment is insufficient for Ukraine’s armed forces to resist the Russian troop assaults, let alone mount a successful counter-offensive.

Video screenshot

Spetsnaz Vega

The Vega division of the Spetsnaz deserves mention in this context. This unit holds a revered position within military quarters due to its illustrious history of successful operations. The group’s involvement in pivotal past events such as the Beirut hostage crisis in 1985, the Budyonnovsk hospital situation in 1995, the Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye incident in 1996, and the commencement of the Second Chechen War in 1999 is well documented. 

Unquestionably, one of Vega’s most notable engagements was during the Beslan school siege in 2004. This crisis began when a group of armed radical Islamists, mainly of Ingush and Chechen descent, overran School One on September 1st, 2004. The hostage-takers were committed members of the Riyadus-Salihin Battalion, dispatched by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. Their demands included the recognition of Chechen independence by the United Nations and the withdrawal of the Russian military from Chechnya. 

Photo credit: Wallpaper Access

The standoff ended on its third day when counter-terrorism forces stormed the school, deploying a range of heavy weaponry in response to several abrupt explosions within the school building and children beginning to escape. In the ensuing chaos, the bulk of the casualties among the security personnel occurred as they valiantly attempted to protect the escaping children from gunfire. The grim fallout of the crisis totaled at least 334 hostage deaths, including 186 children. Official accounts vary on the precise number of Russian Special Forces casualties, with estimates going up to 16. Out of this figure, nine casualties were believed to be from the Vega division of the Spetsnaz, who succumbed either during or in the aftermath of the attack.

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’.

Photo credit: Twitter

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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