Ukraine's 79th Air Assault Brigade appeared to destroy 23 Russian tanks and armored vehicles in Novomykhailivka, Donetsk Oblast

Ukraine’s 79th Air Assault Brigade appeared to destroy 23 Russian tanks and armored vehicles in Novomykhailivka, Donetsk Oblast.Julia Ropcke Twitter

  • Ukrainian troops released footage appearing to show the total destruction of a Russian brigade.

  • Russia has suffered heavy losses along this route, known as the “road of death.”

  • Ukraine’s elite 79th Air Assault Brigade published the video.

Ukrainian paratroopers have released drone footage appearing to show the near-total destruction of a large column of Russian armor in Novomykhailivka, Donetsk Oblast.

The 79th Air Assault Brigade published a compilation video that appeared to depict some 23 Russian armored vehicles and tanks being destroyed and smoking at the side of a country road.

Ukrainian troops refer to the area as the ‘road of death’ because of Russia’s continued losses in the region.

Further clips appear to show Russian soldiers attempting to escape from strike drones, clambering out of their tanks and hiding behind mounds of soil. Many are then hit again.

The brigade says the strikes were carried out using artillery fire, anti-tank missile systems, fences rigged with mines, and UAVs.

Business Insider could not independently verify the undated video, which the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine also distributed.

The ‘road of death’

Novomykhailivka has been a major conflict point between Russia and Ukrainian troops in Donbas. Russian forces launched attacks from the east of the village in December, headed south in January, and returned to the east in February.

At the end of January, a video published by Ukraine’s 72nd Mechanized Brigade appeared to show Ukrainian drones hitting 11 tanks and armored vehicles on the same stretch of road.

The road connecting Novomykhailivka to the neighboring village of Blahodatne has been a lethal trap for Russian troops for more than a year.

In September 2023, photos published by Reuters showed Ukrainian volunteers collecting the bodies of Russian soldiers from Blahodatne three months after the battle which liberated the village. The route in to the village was dubbed the “road of death” due to the number of Russian soldiers killed.

Ukrainian servicemen carry bag containing a body of a dead Russian soldier, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the village of Blahodatne in Donetsk Region Ukraine September 8, 2023.

Ukrainian volunteers carry bag containing body of dead Russian soldier in village of Blahodatne. September 8, 2023.REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

In these areas, Russian forces have repeatedly resorted to sending large numbers of personnel into battle like cattle. These so called “meat assaults” are high-risk frontal assaults that attempt to overwhelm Ukrainian positions. They rely on Russia’s large numbers of troops, with commanders appearing to care little whether their soldiers return or not

The tactic was used in the battle of Bakhmut, which became known as the “meat grinder” for tens of thousands of soldiers, and continues to be used in the eastern town of Avdiivka, where Ukrainian troops have been forced to withdraw in recent weeks.

One Ukrainian commander fighting in Avdiivka previously told CNN that Ukraine may kill “40 to the 70 [Russian soldiers] with drones in a day” but “the next day they renew their forces and continue to attack.”

Ukrainian forces are facing critical shortages of Western artillery ammunition. The White House said earlier this month that Ukraine pulled out of Avdiivka because “Ukrainian soldiers had to ration ammunition due to dwindling supplies as a result of congressional inaction.”

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