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First 48 hours of Ukrainian counter-offensive see unprecedented loss of Leopard 2A6 tanks & Bradley IFVs

In an extraordinary sequence of events over the past two days, the Ukrainian military has initiated substantial counter-offensive operations in various sectors of eastern and southern Ukraine. This marks the maiden deployment of several combat vehicles - such as the AMX-10RC/RCR anti-tank armored vehicles, Bradley M2A2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), and Leopard 2A6 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) - donated by global allies to the Ukrainian forces in their battle against Russian troops.
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The first Ukrainian M2A2 Bradley IFVs and Leopard 2A6 tanks were destroyed by the Russian army in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. (Picture source Social Network)

Reports suggest that the Ukrainian forces have been successful in breaching the Russian defense lines in certain areas, while progress in other sectors remains gradual. Russian defense performance seems to be inconsistent, with some units reportedly retreating haphazardly and facing significant casualties due to Ukrainian forces and their own minefields.

The Russian Air Force has escalated its activities over southern Ukraine where the airspace is relatively more accommodating. However, the effectiveness of these tactical airstrikes is yet to be ascertained.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reveals that Ukraine's strategic counteroffensive operations, initiated on Sunday, June 4, have witnessed differential results across at least three frontline sectors. Ukrainian officials have indicated a significant strategic shift, from defensive to offensive operations, especially in the Bakhmut sector. They reported a gain of territory ranging between 200 meters and nearly two kilometers on the city's flanks.

As a part of this development, Russia launched drone and missile attacks throughout Ukraine on the night of June 8-9. As per the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian forces deployed 16 Shahed-131/136 drones and six Kh-101/55 cruise missiles from two Tu-95 aircraft over the Caspian Sea. Ukrainian air defenses reportedly intercepted and neutralized 10 Shahed drones and four Kh-101/55 missiles.

The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions faced obstacles in the form of minefields, halting the advance of Leopard 2A6 tanks and Bradley M2A2 IFVs. To clear the path, the Ukrainian forces rolled out an IMR-2 engineering vehicle and a Leopard 2R breaching vehicle, targeting to pave the way for the 47th Brigade M-2A2 Bradleys and the attached Leopard 2A6s from the 33rd Brigade. According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on June 9, 2023, all the combat vehicles were destroyed by artillery fire.

Throughout this first counter-offensive, there have been reports, backed by visuals on social media, of a Leopard 2A6 (A4) tank and a T-64BV tank being destroyed by the Russian army in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Furthermore, a Ukrainian Oshkosh M-ATV MRAP, M2A2 Bradley ODS-SA IFV, and another Leopard 2A6 were reportedly damaged and abandoned in the vicinity.

On these first two days of the counter-offensive, the Ukrainian army would have lost two Leopard 2A6 tanks, two T-64BV tanks, two AMX-10RC/RCR, 11 Bradley M2A2 IFVs, three Oshkosh M-ATV MRAPs, one BMR-2 mine clearing vehicle and several trucks.

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