Ukrainians Drive Away 'Trophy' Tanks After Rout at River

Ukrainian military officials say their troops drove away in "trophy" military vehicles following a rout of Russians at the Seversky Donets River.

The clip opens with scenes of the devastation wreaked by Ukrainian forces on their Russian counterparts as they tried, but failed to cross the river in eastern Ukraine.

The video ends with Ukrainian troops driving away the military vehicles marked with "Z" that were abandoned by the Russians but not destroyed in the rout.

Zenger News obtained the footage from AFU StratCom [Strategic Communications Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine] on Monday.

Ukraine troops take Russian tanks as trophies
Ukrainian soldiers reportedly took as "trophies" two almost-undamaged Russian infantry fighting vehicles and a T-72 tank near the Seversky Donets River in May 2022. @AFUStratCom/Zenger

AFU StratCom stated (in Ukrainian): "Ukrainian soldiers seized the surviving Russian equipment near the Seversky Donets River, which the occupiers failed to cross.

"Now the trophy is relatively intact: two infantry fighting vehicles and the T-72 tank will destroy the enemy."

The T-72 is a family of Soviet/Russian main battle tanks that entered service in 1973. They are operated by several countries, including Russia and Ukraine.

The two infantry fighting vehicles seized by the Ukrainians are believed to be BMP-1s. The BMP-1 is a Soviet amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicle that entered service in 1966.

Russian army units previously lost dozens of military vehicles when they tried to cross the Seversky Donets River near the village of Belogorovka in eastern Luhansk Oblast.

The Washington-based think tank Institute for the Study of War said that up to 485 of the 550 soldiers of the 74th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade who tried to cross the river were killed or wounded.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) said on May 24 that Russia had lost about 29,350 troops between February 24 and May 24.

It added that Russia had also lost 1,302 tanks, 3,194 armored fighting vehicles, 606 artillery systems, 201 multiple launch rocket systems, 93 anti-aircraft systems, 205 aircraft, 170 helicopters, 2,213 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, 13 vessels, 480 unmanned aerial vehicles, 43 units of special equipment and 112 cruise missiles over the same period.

Russian forces are currently trying to encircle the eastern cities of Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk and Rubizhne, according to the British defense ministry.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian troops are trying to destroy "everything living" in the embattled Donbas region.

He reiterated that his country remains willing to exchange prisoners with Russia.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.