Social Media Showed Destruction of BMP-3 in Zaporizhzhia Oblast – A new video posted to social media on Wednesday morning featured a burning Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) that came under Ukrainian fire in the vicinity of Dolynka in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
The Russian troop carrier may have taken evasive actions as it was targeted – as tracks could be seen on the ground that suggested the driver had attempted to change course.
The destroyed vehicle was seen in a largely-open field with little cover.
It is likely that the drone that recorded the 42-second-long footage, posted by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAEweapons), had played a role in relaying the coordinates and even movements of the vehicle to Ukraine’s artillery.
The exact ordnance used to take out the vehicle is unclear, but it is evident that the Ukrainians scored a direct hit.
No survivors could be seen in the video. This is just the latest BMP-3 to be the star of such “destruction porn” videos.
Why It Matters
It would be another victory of sorts for the Ukrainians, especially as the BMP-3 is among the most modern armored vehicles in service on the frontlines today.
It is also one of the basic types of light armor employed by the Russian Army today.
However, to date, at least 235 of the late Cold War-era platforms have been destroyed, captured, or abandoned.
That would be nearly a third of the total of 760 that Russia had in its arsenal at the start of the war just over a year ago.
Yet, there have been reports that an additional batch had been rolled out to Kremlin forces last year – so the total numbers now in service are unknown.
Ukraine had “inherited” just four BMP-3s following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and those vehicles were also still in service a year ago.
Due to those captured, Ukraine’s numbers had greatly increased with some 60 being refurbished/repaired and returned to service with Kyiv’s forces.
It was also unclear from the recently posted video which variant of the BMP-3 had been destroyed as the platform has been steadily improved and upgraded. Even its basic model has been touted to combine the best elements of an IFV, tank destroyer, fire support vehicle, and amphibious transport.
In January, the Russian state media outlet Tass reported that a new model with a remote-controlled combat module was rolled out for export. It is reported to be fitted with a 100mm main gun and missile launcher, as well as a 30mm auto-cannon and 7.62 machine gun.
Much like the original IFV developed for use with the Soviet Army, this new model was designed to provide fire support for infantry, including waterborne fire support, and to effectively engage fixed positions and lightly armored ground vehicles as well aseven low-speed air targets such as low-flying helicopters.
The new modifications of the BMP-3 IFV were unveiled at Russia’s Army 2021 International Military Technical Forum.
The BMP-3, which entered service in 1987, first saw action with Russian forces during the First Chechen War (1994-96), while export models employed with United Arab Emirati forces were utilized in peacekeeping operations during the Kosovo War.
As noted, a significant number of the IFVs have been destroyed in Ukraine – with many targeted by drones, a fact that has led some analysts to suggest that traveling to the front in these carriers is essentially climbing into a death trap.
#Ukraine: A Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle was destroyed by Ukrainian fire in the vicinity of Dolynka, #Zaporizhzhia Oblast. pic.twitter.com/pTAgfZGxea
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) March 22, 2023
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Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.