Kharkiv: Local Territorial Defence Forces capture Russian tank
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A group of men can be seen laughing in the viral video on top of what appears to be a 7-80BVM armoured vehicle near Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv. They can be heard shouting, “We did it” and, “Glory to Ukraine “, as the tank rumbles across the snowy landscape.
The footage shows a rare moment of celebration as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its second week on Thursday with Moscow’s main assault force halted north of the capital Kyiv and several cities enduring heavy Russian bombardment.
Ukrainian fighters have found several pieces of Russian weaponry since the invasion began on February 24 with claims of Russian trucks and missile launchers being abandoned outside cities.
Despite an initial battle plan Western countries said was aimed at swiftly toppling the government in Kyiv, Russia has captured only one Ukrainian city so far – the port of Kherson, which its tanks entered on Wednesday.
Britain’s defence ministry said in an intelligence update on Thursday the main body of a large Russian column advancing on Kyiv remains more than 19 miles (30km) from the city centre having been delayed by staunch Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdown and congestion.
The statement added: “The column has made little discernible progress in over three days. Despite heavy Russian shelling, the cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol remain in Ukrainian hands.”
Multiple videos showing military units apparently out of fuel have been circulating online and in one video a nationalist decided to make the most of the opportunity.
The clip shows a Ukrainian driver roll down his window and offer to tow Russian troops back to Russia, prompting laughter from even the soldiers themselves.
Soldiers can be seen next to a tank with another one abandoned further down the road. Victor Kovalenko, a former Ukrainian journalist, tweeted a translation of the exchange.
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The Ukrainian driver asks whether the tank broke down, but the Russian troops say they are waiting for diesel.
He mocks them saying he would love to help then offers to tow the soldiers back to Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has regularly been releasing video updates to the nation. In his latest message, he said Ukrainian lines were holding, adding: “We have nothing to lose but our own freedom.”
Russia says its actions in Ukraine are a special operation not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it calls dangerous nationalists.
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Ukraine’s military is dwarfed by that of its powerful neighbour, but resistance in the first week of the conflict has slowed Russia’s progress.
As Russia closes in on Kyiv, workers and welders at the KAN real estate developer have switched to making giant, metal anti-tank barricades known as hedgehogs.
The property company reinvented itself to help the defences of the city of 3.4 million people. Zakhar, a foreman, said: “We build things. We do not know how to fight, but we knew we could be useful.”
In Borodyanka, a town 40 miles (60km) northwest of Kyiv where locals repelled a Russian assault, burnt out hulks of destroyed Russian armour have been reported scattered on a highway, surrounded by buildings blasted to ruins.
A local who had been sheltering with his family said: “They started shooting from their APC [Armoured Personnel Carrier] towards the park in front of the post office.
“Then those bastards started the tank and started shooting into the supermarket which was already burned. It caught fire again.
“An old man ran outside like crazy, with big round eyes, and said, ‘Give me a Molotov cocktail! I just set their APC on fire! Give me some petrol. We’ll make a Molotov cocktail and burn the tank!’.”
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