A Ukrainian armored unit lost at least seven German-made Leopard tanks and five US-made Bradley fighting vehicles (BFVs) during a 48-hour offensive in the Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine, AFP and Reuters reported on Sunday.
According to Forbes, the Ukrainian army’s 33rd Mechanized Brigade and 47th Assault Brigade launched their Leopard tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles in a powerful assault on Russian positions two miles south of Mala Tokmachka in Zaporizhzhia on Thursday morning.
The attacking force had to cross a dense minefield to get through the Russian defenders, and sent an IMR-2 engineering vehicle and a Leopard breaching vehicle, hoping to clear safe passage for a company of 47th Brigade Bradleys and 33rd Brigade Leopards.
The Ukrainians we spotted by Russian helicopters and artillery that interrupted their mine-clearing forces, resulting in a mass pileup of damaged armored vehicles out in the open. The surviving crews and passengers bailed out, taking their dead and wounded with them.
On Friday, President Vladimir Putin confirmed to reporters the Ukrainian counteroffensive, adding that the offensive had not been successful “because of the courage and valor of Russian servicemen.”
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, would not answer reporters’ questions about the Ukrainian counteroffensive. After the press conference, Zelensky acknowledged that the Ukrainian military was engaged in “counter-offensive and defensive operations.”
On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that Ukrainian troops had lost nine tanks over 24 hours south of Donetsk and in the Zaporozhye area, including four Leopard tanks, as well as 11 infantry fighting vehicles which included Bradleys.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify battlefield reports from either side but was able to verify the location though not the date of a video showing Russian drones striking Ukrainian-manned tanks in the Zaporizhzhia region.