Ukraine's drone finds cemetery of tanks inside Russian border

This isn't the first such site to have been located.
Ameya Paleja
Screen grab of the graveyard of Russian tanks
Screen grab of the graveyard of Russian tanks

Ukrainian Military/ YouTube 

In September this year, a Ukrainian reconnaissance drone flew into Russian territory and captured footage of hundreds of damaged battle tanks, howitzers, and infantry fighting vehicles damaged in the conflict that began earlier this year.

Ukrainian military website has shared the footage captured by the drone on social media sites.

The Ukrainian military has used drones throughout the conflict to bring ground realities to public attention. In the early days of the conflict, when Russia claimed that its attacks were going as planned, Ukrainian drones showed how its tanks were ambushing Russian convoys as they moved toward its capital.

Ukraine also publicized drone footage of how devastating its artillery attacks were for Russian outposts while showcasing how loitering munitions took advantage of an open head on a Russian tank.

Drone footage shows the extent of Russian damage

When the conflict began in Ukraine in February, the Russians indeed held the upper hand. However, as months have progressed, Ukrainian resistance has turned into an offense as it looks to push back Russian forces from territories the latter has occupied.

The balance of the conflict has slowly but surely changed over the past few months, and while Interesting Engineering has previously reported how Russia has lost its advanced fighter jet, tank, and electronic warfare pods in this conflict, the extent of the damage is visible only through such footage.

Ukrainian drone, Leleka-100, flew into Russian territory and found this graveyard of military vehicles in the city of Biryuch in the Belgorod region, less than five miles (seven km) from Kharkiv in Ukraine.

According to the Military's report, the site was possibly created as a facility to restore and refurbish broken or damaged combat vehicles. It could be possible that Russians are salvaging usable parts from these vehicles and using them in their war efforts. However, over time, more vehicles have been added to the site than those left, giving it a graveyard-like appearance.

How many combat vehicles has Russia lost?

The report also notes that the Biryuch site isn't the first such location found by a Ukrainian drone. In fact, another Leleka reconnaissance mission conducted earlier in April revealed such a site in the village of Golovchino, while another was reported near Dzhankoy in occupied Crimea.

Ukraine's drone finds cemetery of tanks inside Russian border
A destroyed Russian tank

Even before the invasion, such sites have been reported on the Russian side of the border. Since both Ukrainian and Russian numbers on hits vary significantly, publicly sourced information is the closest we can get to estimating the number of combat vehicles Russia has lost during this conflict.

One such site documenting these events is Oryx Blog, which claims that the Russian tally of lost vehicles exceeds 8,000 so far. This includes 1,505 tanks and 1,757 infantry fighting vehicles. These numbers include those vehicles that have been badly damaged and destroyed and those that have been captured and could one day emerge on the streets as relics from history.

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