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This is the incredible moment a Ukrainian tank fired through a demolished building to take out a Russian armoured personnel carrier on the other side in a single shot.
The images show the Ukrainian tank moving up the street in the war-ravaged town of Rubizhne, 40 miles from Luhansk in the east of Ukraine.
It suddenly opened fire on a stationary Russian military vehicle, hitting it and destroying it in one shot.
The shell passed through the partially destroyed building that stood between the Ukrainian tank and the Russian military vehicle, reportedly an armoured personnel carrier.
A small cloud of dust could be seen being dislodged from the building as the ordnance fired by the Ukrainian military vehicle passed through it before hitting its target.
In this wide shot, the muzzle flash of the Ukrainian tank’s cannon can clearly be seen near the bottom left, hitting its Russian target in the upper right of the shot with a direct hit that passes through the partially destroyed building just before it
A Ukrainian tank scores a direct hit against a Russian BMP armoured personnel carrier (right of shot) from several hundred metres, with the shot passing through the burnt out husk of a building (left of shot)
The Ukrainian tank (centre of shot) appears to be operating alone, advancing up a street in the burnt our battelscape. It fires a single shot from its main turret
Drone footage that captured the exchange shows the war-ravaged town of Rubizhne, 40 miles from Luhansk in the east of Ukraine
The regional governor of the eastern Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, claimed that The Armed Forces of Ukraine have repelled Russian troops’ offensive in Rubizhne and Popasna.
Haidai said that they would attempt to evacuate civilians from neighbouring Kreminna, just a couple of miles from Rubizhne Luhansk region, today.
People who had not already fled were effectively hostages to the Russian forces, which had not stopped shelling and blocking civilian escape routes, Haidai added.
‘Volunteers will help us in the evacuation today, the police will take elderly and less mobile people to the buses, as well as people from shelters.
‘Therefore, when you see the patrol, do not delay – this is a chance to escape.
‘Every day such opportunities decrease.’
After weeks of having their assaults on Kyiv thwarted at every turn, Putin‘s commanders have now refocused their efforts on the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, along with other regions of Ukraine’s eastern flank.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday dubbed this new assault ‘The Battle of the Donbas’.
Ukrainian media outlets and Telegram channels reported a series of explosions along the front line in the Donetsk region, with shelling taking place in Marinka, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk throughout the evening.
Local officials and media also said explosions were heard in Kharkiv in the northeast of Ukraine, Mykolaiv in the south and Zaporizhzhia in the southeast.
After weeks of having their assaults on Kyiv thwarted at every turn, Putin’s commanders are now refocusing their efforts on the Donbas region that pro-Moscow separatists have partly controlled since 2014
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday said Russia’s large-scale offensive in the eastern Donbas region had begun
Smoke rises from the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, as Ukrainian troops defending the city make their last stand against Russia
The Ukrainian flag flutters between buildings destroyed in bombardment, in the Ukrainian town of Borodianka, in the Kyiv region on April 17, 2022
A man walks near a residential building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 17, 2022
‘We can now confirm that Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, which they have been preparing for a long time. A large part of the Russian army is now dedicated to this offensive,’ Zelensky said in his daily presidential address last night.
‘No matter how many Russian soldiers are brought here, we will fight. We will defend ourselves. I am grateful to all our fighters, to all our heroic cities in Donbas, Mariupol, as well as to the cities in the region of Kharkiv that are being held.’
The coming battle is viewed as pivotal to deciding the ultimate fate of Ukraine – and perhaps of Russia as well.
Russia retreated from Kyiv more than two weeks ago after failing to seize the capital, and has spent the days since massing forces in the east in an attempt to restart its failed invasion and score its first major battlefield victory.
Most troops are gathered at Izyum, a city spanning the Donets River some 70 miles to the south of Kharkiv, for an expected push south towards Mariupol.
Russian troops move into Mariupol as they continue to try and take the city from Ukraine to free up forces for attacks in the Donbas
A large Russian offensive in the Donbas region had been predicted by Ukraine’s army for weeks. Above: Service members of pro-Russian troops drive an armoured vehicle during Ukraine-Russia conflict near the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 17, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he launched the military operation to save the region’s Russian-speaking population from a ‘genocide’ carried out by a ‘neo-Nazi’ Kyiv regime
Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak called Russia’s fresh assault ‘the second phase of the war’ and assured Ukrainians that their forces could hold off the offensive.
‘Believe in our army, it is very strong,’ he said.
Shortly before Zelensky’s address, governor Sergiy Gaiday also announced the beginning of Russia’s much-anticipated attack.
‘It’s hell. The offensive has begun, the one we’ve been talking about for weeks. There’s constant fighting in Rubizhne and Popasna, fighting in other peaceful cities,’ he said on Facebook.
Russian shelling killed at least eight civilians in eastern Ukraine on Monday, according to local authorities.
Gaiday said four people died as they tried to flee the city of Kreminna in Luhansk, which Russian forces captured on Monday.
In the neighbouring region of Donetsk, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said four other civilians died after Russian bombardment, while a man and a woman were also killed in Kharkiv when shells hit a playground near a residential building.