Footage of strike appears to show drones armed with explosives entering warehouse in Ukraine’s Donetsk region unchallenged

Joe Barnes

20 February 2024

Smart News

Ukrainian drones reportedly destroyed Russian armoured vehicles, tanks and anti-aircraft guns worth “tens of millions” of pounds after entering a warehouse close to the front line.

Footage of the strike appeared to show drones armed with explosives entering the building in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region unchallenged through a large uncovered opening.

The first unmanned aerial vehicle could be seen hovering inside the building before smashing into a BMPT “Terminator”, a rare Russian armoured fighting vehicle.

Shortly afterwards, a succession of Ukrainian drones, many with low batteries, swooped into the warehouse, crashing into the parked equipment.

As more drones approached the building, fires could be seen raging inside.

Wild Hornets, a pro-Ukrainian channel on the Telegram messaging app, said the Ukrainian Bulava strike unit also destroyed two T-72 tanks, two S-60 anti-aircraft guns, a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle and two off-road trucks loaded with ammunition.

“As a result, the entire hangar completely burned down,” it wrote.

Aerial footage of the strike from further away appeared to show huge plumes of black smoke rising from the warehouse building after the initial strikes.

The attack was said to have taken place in the Donetsk region village of Staromlynivka, around three miles from the front line on the Velyka Novosilka axis of advance of Ukraine’s summer counter-offensive.

Rob Lee, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute think tank, wrote: “Notably, cheap nets over the entrances likely could have prevented these losses. An indication of complacency leaving this much equipment this exposed so close to the front line.”

Drones, especially first-person view (FPV) ones piloted with virtual reality headsets, have become vital for Ukraine in narrowing the quantitative advantage Russia has with long-range weapons on the front line.

Most of the kamikaze drones are built inside Ukraine, seen as increasingly important given the lack of support with more conventional military equipment from the war-torn nation’s Western allies.

Britain, alongside Latvia, also recently pledged to donate thousands of FPV drones to aid Kyiv’s armed struggle against Moscow’s occupation.