INCREDIBLE new footage has emerged of the moment Ukrainian forces dropped brutal cluster bombs on a column of Russian vehicles.
Vladimir Putin’s troops were wiped out after being thrown into what was essentially a suicide mission at Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine.
US-supplied dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM) – also known as cluster bombs – were dropped from theonto a convoy of lightly-armoured Russian BTR-80 vehicles north of Avdiivka late last year.
The munitions opened up mid-air to release tens or hundreds of devastating explosive submunitions.
Such bombs, capable of saturating areas as large as several football fields, are almost certain to kill or seriously injure all those within the strike area.
The Russian vehicles travelling through Donetsk were said to have been carrying “the assaulting infantry” in the rear of the column.
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Dramatic video showed the cluster bombs hit their targets and explode on the ground as smoke billowed up, vehicles sped out of line in various directions, and fearful troops ran for their lives.
One clip showed flames erupting from the tops of several moving Russian BTRs, or Bronetransporters, which translates in English to armoured transporters.
The BTR-80 armoured personnel carriers seen in the video are 8×8 machines designed in the Soviet Union which were adopted by the Sovietin 1985.
They are intended to carry personnel onto the, provide close fire support, and assist with reconnaissance, combat support, and patrol missions.
The Russian Army is understood to have ordered 100 BTR-80s in 2006 – but the vehicle is also in service with Ukraine and other countries.
It comes as Putin, 71, assembles a huge army on Ukraine’s eastern flank and Russia gears up to blitz the key Ukrainian city of Kupyansk before the 2024 presidential electionsmonth.
Forty-thousand troops, 500 tanks, and hundreds of howitzer artillery guns today stood poised to unleash hell as Moscow’s forces edged closer.
The Ukrainian Centre for Defence Strategies explained: “The Russian Federation plans to seize the entire Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts and part of Kharkiv Oblast up to the Oskil River by March 2024.”
Russia reportedly intends to take everything east of the Oskil river that runs through Kupyansk from the north.
Putin has been aggressively throwing its troops into meat-grinder assaults along Ukraine’seastern frontline, which took centre stage in its winter offensive, since October.
The Russian president is desperate to secure a significant victory before the rubber-stamp elections in March, which are all but certain to extend his brutal reign over Russia until at least 2030.
Some, including prominent Russian commentator Alexander Nevzorov, has claimed Putin is seeking a victory in the war-blitzed city of Avdiivka in Donetsk region by any means necessary.
He said: “The approaches to Avdiivka have long become a huge mass grave of [Putin’s fighters].
“But now the Russians are covering the area with a new carpet of their corpses.”
Ukraine is reported to have pushed back and prevented the largest number of Russian attacks on the Avdiivka front in 24 hours: 30, with a total of 66 combat engagements.
Mr Nevzorov said there was no military reason Putin wanted to “liberate” the city, adding: “At all polling stations, ballot boxes must bow before the crazy king of corpses…
“The fights are crazy.
“Orcs [Russian fighters] climb over the corpses of their comrades, ‘forward to the victory of Putinism’.”