This post will deal with the recent videos of Russian armor in eastern Ukraine, so far I have seen two, one claiming to be in Torez (August 25th) and another claiming to be in Sverdlovsk. I won’t be dealing with any geo-location or anything to that measure as some has already been done, the statements given are assuming that the locations provided are true.
All the screenshots will be from the most recent and far more interesting video which surfaced today, a video which (among others) finally gives credibility to the several claims by the Ukrainian government that Russian armor had penetrated its sovereign borders.
The picture below is taken from this video and shows what appears to be a T-72B sporting Kontakt-5 ERA, one of the more common tanks in the Russian arsenal. This specific type of tank has never entered service in Ukraine, although the Kharkiv plant does have T-72s and Kontakt-5 ERA is in Ukrainian service it is highly unlikely that the two would ever meet each other in Ukraine without coming from Russia.
Furthermore, there has been no evidence of T-72s fighting on any side but the separatists at any point of this conflict, a video of a separatist T-72 rolling with a couple of T-64s in DNR surfaces recently but was followed by footage of its wreckage shortly after.
Whether or not this video is of the “lost” Russian troops is unsure, but everything would point to them knowing where they are.
The below picture is of one of several T-72Bs with the older Kontakt 1 ERA, a tank still in service today in the Russian military, although it is being phased out in the near future in favor of more “modern” tanks.
Missing a couple of Kontakt-1 ERA bricks, these tanks would at a glance appear to be the same as the ones featured in this video from August 25th, or at least they likely come from the same place judging by the pig-disgusting paint jobs they all share, with army-man green paint the same shade as the messages written on the MT-LBs in the column. An interesting thing to note is that the T-72s in the older video are accompanied by an ERA-less T-64 whereas the ones in the newer video are rolling with a newer T-72.
Other fun things
Some other notable things were shown in the video aside from the obviously Russian tanks
And those are the references to Russian naval infantry on two MT-LBs.
These two MT-LBs each have two zu-23-2 anti-aircraft cannons bolted on top of them but they also have distinctive anchors painted on them. The one in the picture above has “морская пехота” (Marines) translated into English written on its side. The one in the picture below has “севастополь” (Sevastopol) written on it, home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade.
If you look through the video you will notice that one of the one with “marines” written on it is flying the Russian naval ensign with a bat over it, possibly indicating a recon unit. It should be noted that Separatists do have an affinity for flying flags of units they aren’t part of but the intensity of the naval references seen on these vehicles is very uncommon. Another MT-LB without the zu-23-2 is flying the VDV flag and has more irregular looking troops on top of it.
Also notice the soldier sticking out of the forward hatch of the above pictured MT-LB and how closely he resembles a Russian regular or a “green man” if you will.
The column also features two BMP-2s, which are no strangers to this conflict, the rear BMP-2 is flying the flag of the Donbass people’s militia. Other appearances include: strela-10s and some trucks hauling artillery.