A purported Russian separatist attack stumbles into a Ukrainian tank and a stiff defensive line, ending in a dismal failure and even leaves the separatists asking, “Why did we go to the open field like idiots?”
Russian separatists in the disputed Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine launch a doomed assault with BTR’s and dismounted infantry. Starting off with fair amount of confusion while sauntering behind the armored vehicles, they’re slowly advancing through a deathly flat and open field. The poor planning of the operation becomes evident quickly, as the cameraman even comments grimly, “Guys, I think we missed by a few kilometers. It seems like we are in the wrong place.”
Soon after this realization the enemy fire from the distant hedgerow begins to intensify. The small groups of separatist’s huddles closely behind their eight-wheeled Russian hand-me-downs or go prone seeking cover and their cohesive line begins to quickly break up. In danger of exposing their flanks if they advance too far, the cameraman’s BTR halts to wait for its comrades and reorganize the assault.
Suddenly, excitement and fear saturate the separatist’s shouts as a Ukrainian tank emerges from over a slight rise and begins pressing their flank. Appearing an estimated 500 meters away and easily outmatching anything the BTR’s armor can take, multiple positions begin frantically firing RPG’s in a frenzied volley.
A thick smoke cloud from the myriad of explosions and possible even generated by the tank itself rises from its location. The separatist’s keenly stare into the haze for a few tense moments, likely hoping to see a flaming hulk. But the tank hasn’t been hit and now has become aggressively aware of the exposed vehicles and infantry exposed in the field on its flank. The cameraman begins excitedly shouting just moments before the tank’s main gun fires. Luckily for the cameraman, the tank engaged the BTR some 50 meters to his right and it can be seen with flames engulfing the troop compartment as it slowly rolls away.
The separatists are now in full retreat. All BTR’s are seemingly destroyed and burning and they’re carrying multiple wounded – Ukrainian fire continues to snap overhead. Despite this precarious position, one comrade interjects some dark battlefield humor and sarcastically insists, “It’s just a tactical retreat!”
But this battlefield levity proves premature as there are still several non-ambulatory wounded and they are far from cover. Luckily for the separatists, the Ukrainians do not exploit this vulnerable evacuation and lack of cohesion. Instead, the surviving Russian’s slowly withdraw after their dismal failure and even ask the obvious question, “Why did we go to the open field like idiots?”