TechRussian infantry vehicles fall prey to undermining tactics in Ukraine

Russian infantry vehicles fall prey to undermining tactics in Ukraine

A Russian BMP-2 accompanied by two others that was damaged by a mine.
A Russian BMP-2 accompanied by two others that was damaged by a mine.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | OSINT (Uri Kikaski)

8:36 AM EDT, June 27, 2024

The Russians continue to astonish during the war in Ukraine. One of the more intriguing events is the case of three BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles driving over mines, one after the other.

A video has surfaced online showing the third BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) driving onto a mined road despite the loss of two others, with the crews nearby. It's peculiar that after the first vehicle hit a mine, the Russians did not call in an engineering unit to clear the path. Instead, they pressed on, resulting in the loss of three valuable vehicles. The Russians are already facing significant shortages in IFVs.

The crew of the third BMP-2 survived and joined the survivors from the other two IFVs. These soldiers likely retreated to their original positions or were eliminated by a cluster munition fired by the Ukrainians, which is quite a common tactic.

Scatterable mining and drone-laid mines - a nightmare for war logistics

Ukrainians and Russians are eager to use scatterable mining systems launched from BM-21 Grad, BM-27 Uragan launchers, or drones. These systems allow for quick and relatively safe mining of an area several miles from the launcher. Particularly useful for such tasks are dedicated scatterable mining systems like the Russian ISDM Zemledelije.

Such actions are especially effective within a few hours after enemy engineers have visited the region and marked a road as safe. In modern demining systems like the Wisent, information about cleared areas is transmitted in real time.

The situation worsens with older systems, where everything depends on human factors. Delays of even a few hours or days can lead soldiers following what they believe to be a "safe" path into danger, resulting in increased casualties.

The PFM-1 or PTM-3 mines are especially troublesome in Ukraine. The PFM-1 is a butterfly anti-personnel mine containing 2.6 ounces of liquid explosive material housed in a soft plastic casing. Its detonation is typically triggered by crushing the casing, often causing limb injuries.

PTM-3, on the other hand, is a 10.8-pound anti-tank mine, of which 4 pounds is the explosive charge. This mine can severely damage an infantry fighting vehicle by destroying components like its tracks. The mine has a magnetic fuse and deactivates about 24 hours after being set. Additionally, the Ukrainians have also used AT2 SCATMIN mines supplied by Germany, which are launched from MARS II launchers.

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