SHOCKING video captures the moment a Russian tank is reportedly blown up, sending its turret hurtling 250ft into the air following a Ukrainian missile strike.
In the clip filmed from a car driving behind the tank, a huge blast erupts shortly up the road, and what appears to be a tank turret goes flying into the sky.
A number of figures, possibly Russian soldiers, are seen desperately scrambling for cover.
It was filmed by the Chinese state media channel Phoenix TV, which shared a clip of its journalist’s close encounter with the inferno on its YouTube channel.
The video was taken while the Chinese team were on their way to the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city of Mariupol, where they were covering the evacuation of civilians.
It was reportedly taken last week, although not much else is known about the type of tank and casualty numbers or the type of weapon which destroyed it.
Explaining the context behind the incredible video, the channel said: “Phoenix reporter Lu Yuguang escaped death during the interview in eastern Ukraine,” adding that the driver needed “emergency deceleration to avoid danger”.
It went on: “Phoenix Satellite TV dispatched a front-line interview team from eastern Ukraine to go to the Mariupol Azov Steel Plant on May 6 to track and report the evacuation of civilians by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Russian military organisation.”
The report said that while “on the way to the interview,” suddenly a Russian tank driving in front of them blew up in “a huge explosion”.
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It follows reports that many of the Russian tanks being used in the war in Ukraine have a deadly design flaw, which could explain why the turret was catapulted from the tank when it was struck.
A number of Russian tanks with their tops blown off have been pictured since the start of the conflict.
The so-called “jack-in-the-box effect” is a result of Russian tanks carrying multiple shells within their turrets, unlike modern Western tanks.
This means that even an indirect hit can trigger a chain reaction that sets off the tank’s entire ammunition store – sometimes up to 40 shells.
The shockwave can blast the tank’s turret as high as several stories, as seen in the recent clip.
Security expert Sam Bendett told CNN: “What we are witnessing with Russian tanks is a design flaw.
“Any successful hit… quickly ignites the ammo causing a massive explosion, and the turret is literally blown off.”
This flaw means the tank’s crew – usually a driver and two men in the turret – are almost always killed in such blasts, according to former British Army officer Nicholas Drummond.
“If you don’t get out within the first second, you’re toast,” he said.
In one dramatic recent video, Russia’s most advanced T-90M tank worth £4m is obliterated by a Ukrainian attack.
At the start of the video, smoke and flames can be seen rising from several other spots along the country line, implying it was filmed in the midst of a fierce firefight.
Suddenly, a stationary tank is obliterated by a rocket strike, sending fire and bits of metal leaping into the sky.
The drone footage, which was issued by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence on Tuesday, was reportedly filmed during the battle for Stary Saltiv, north of the country’s second city of Kharkiv.
Putin’s T-90M tanks, supposed to be the country’s most advanced war weapon to date, have been deployed to the conflict as part of the new Russian strategy to seize the Donbas region.
Russia is said to have 100 of the tanks – worth £4m a pop – and before the war, they were regarded as the pride of the Russian military.
It boasts upgraded armour, automatic target tracking, greater accuracy, and the ability to fire missiles as well as shells and machine gun rounds.
All you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Everything you need to know about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…
Each T-90M carries a crew of three – a commander, gunner and driver – and can travel up to 60km/h on roads with a range of 550km.
In a further humiliation for the Kremlin, the multi-million-pound tank was reportedly wiped out by a rocket launcher worth just £18,000.
While another video captures the moment an entire Russian tank column is wiped out in a lethal barrage.
In the video posted by Ukraine’s 54th Mechanized Brigade, the column of Russian tanks can be seen making their way down a rural road before the Ukrainians launch a deadly blitz.
Bombs can be seen raining down on the vehicles one by one as smoke billows across the fields from the fierce strikes.
One of the bombs appears to hit two vehicles at once, with pieces of a tank exploding hundreds of feet into the air.
Several of the Russian troops appear to try and accelerate to escape the relentless attack.
But a tank is seen driving straight into a massive cloud of smoke before it’s decimated by a bomb.
And a third video shows a Russian artillery gun exploding in a Ukrainian missile strike.
In the clip, the anti-aircraft gun erupts into an enormous fireball as huge plumes of smoke pour into the sky.
Shockwaves can be seen rippling across the landscape from the force of the explosion near Izyum in eastern Ukraine.
A Ukrainian soldier shared the footage with the caption: “Russian anti-aircraft guns near Izyum came out to fire on our positions. Something went wrong.”
Kyiv claims that Russia has lost 1,170 tanks – around 40 per cent of its entire force – since the start of the conflict in February.
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