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Watch: Ukrainian drones destroy Russian armoured vehicles, tanks and guns

A Ukrainian drone reportedly destroyed Russian armoured vehicles, tanks and anti-aircraft guns worth “tens of millions” of pounds after entering a warehouse close to the front line.

Footage of the strike appeared to show drones armed with explosives entering the building in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region unchallenged through a large uncovered opening.

The first unmanned aerial vehicle could be seen hovering inside the building before smashing into a BMPT “Terminator”, a rare Russian armoured fighting vehicle.

Shortly afterwards, a succession of Ukrainian drones, many with low batteries, swooped into the warehouse, crashing into the parked equipment.

As more drones approached the building, fires could be seen raging inside.

Video from Ukraine’s Bulava strike unit shows how FPV drones found their way into a Russian warehouse
Video from Ukraine’s Bulava strike unit shows how FPV drones found their way into a Russian warehouse

Wild Hornets, a pro-Ukrainian channel on the Telegram messaging app, said the Ukrainian Bulava strike unit also destroyed two T-72 tanks, two S-60 anti-aircraft guns, a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle and two off-road trucks loaded with ammunition.

“As a result, the entire hangar completely burned down,” it wrote.

Aerial footage of the strike from further away appeared to show huge plumes of black smoke rising from the warehouse building after the initial strikes.

The attack was said to have taken place in the Donetsk region village of Staromlynivka, around three miles from the front line on the Velyka Novosilka axis of advance of Ukraine’s summer counter-offensive.

More video from Ukraine’s Bulava strike unit showing FPV strikes on Russian armor, which has caught fire
Footage of the strike from further away appeared to show huge plumes of black smoke rising from the warehouse

Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute think tank, wrote: “Notably, cheap nets over the entrances likely could have prevented these losses. An indication of complacency leaving this much equipment this exposed so close to the front line.”

The Telegraph could not independently verify the claims.

Drones, especially first-person view (FPV) ones piloted with virtual reality headsets, have become vital for Ukraine in narrowing the quantitative advantage Russia has with long-range weapons on the front line.

Most of the kamikaze drones are built inside Ukraine, seen as increasingly important given the lack of support with more conventional military equipment from the war-torn nation’s Western allies.

Britain, alongside Latvia, also recently pledged to donate thousands of FPV drones to aid Kyiv’s armed struggle against Moscow’s occupation.

Video from Ukraine’s Bulava strike unit showing the warehouse full of Russian armor that is now ablaze
Video from Ukraine’s Bulava strike unit shows the warehouse ablaze

In a video address late on Thursday, Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, warned that Russia was “taking advantage of the delays in aid” .

“There is a deficit of artillery. There is a need for front-line air defence and for a longer range of our weapons,” he said.

But Western intelligence officials and analysts have played down the possibility of Russian gains following the recent capture of the Donetsk region city of Avdiivka.

The UK Ministry of Defence said Moscow’s forces would require a “period of rest” after seizing control of the industrial hub.

“It is likely that Russian forces lack the combat effectiveness to immediately exploit the capture of Avdiivka and will require a period of rest and refit,” it wrote in its daily battlefield update on Tuesday.