Aerial video released on May 18 by a Ukrainian military unit operating in Kharkiv shows Ukrainian troops firing anti-tank weapons at a Russian T-80BVM tank north of Pytomnyk, a town just six miles from the Russian border in Kharkiv Oblast.
The video shows a Russian battle tank on a rural road with sparks and smoke emanating from its rear right side, indicating it was already damaged. The tank’s gun fires into a field to its east at unknown targets. At a T-junction about 1,200 ft (371 meters) up the road, a Ukrainian soldier appears, crouches, and fires a weapon toward the tank. The tank swivels around and accelerates toward the junction. The soldier retreats into bushes and the tank fires at him, but misses its target. The tank continues forward and, as it passes through the T-junction, comes under fire to its west before exiting the roadway and into bushes and trees lining the road. It turns its gun around to take another shot at the soldier fleeing to the east, but misses again.
Storyful has not confirmed when the footage was shot. However, heavy fighting was reported in the area throughout the middle of May.
Konstantin Nemichev, who heads the Kraken unit of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, announced the liberation of the town on May 8, but the Ukrainian military said Russian forces were shelling Pytomnyk and other small towns in Kharkiv Oblast over May 14 and 15, and again on Wednesday, May 18, according to Kharkiv regional authorities..
On May 17, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser at Ukraine’s internal affairs ministry, posted photos on Telegram showing Ukrainian military officials, including the head of the Kharkiv garrison of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Melnyk, examining damaged Russian vehicles and ammunition in Pytomnyk. Melnyk documented evidence that Russian forces had used “prohibited weapons,” Gerashchenko said. Credit: Armed Forces of Ukraine via Storyful