THIS is the dramatic moment Russian tanks were annihilated by Ukrainian forces as a driver frantically climbed out of one and ran for his life.
Shocking footage shows smoke billowing from the vehicles as they erupt into fireballs after being blasted amid Vladimir Putin's chaotic invasion.
In the first clip, a Russian tank – thought to be a T-72 – can be seen slowly moving before being obliterated by mortar fire.
As plumes of black smoke fill the sky, a terrified Russian soldier can be spotted emerging from within the tank as it bursts into flames.
He can be seen desperately scurrying away as the fire engulfs the tank, leaving it likely destroyed.
Further footage shows another Russian tank exploding after being carefully targeted by Ukrainian troops – sparking a blaze amid a cloud of thick black smoke.
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Russian forces have lost thousands of vehicles in the war in Ukraine as Putin's invasion continues to stall, including around 600 tanks and over 1700 other armoured vehicles.
Many of their burnt-out shells now litter the landscape after being blasted by Kyiv’s forces.
But ingenious Ukrainian mechanics have also been at work repairing ones that can be salvaged to use against Russian troops.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia has become one of the main suppliers of arms to their enemy.
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"We take trophies and use them to protect Ukraine," he said.
"Today, Russian troops are, in fact, one of the suppliers of equipment to our army."
As defiant Ukrainian forces continue to hold back Putin's army, demoralised Russian troops are reportedly switching sides
But captured Russian soldiers have formed their own battalion, and have been pictured training with their new Ukrainian comrades-in-arms.
In a video posted on the app Telegram, a man claiming to be a former Russian soldier says he is now part of the so-called Freedom of Russia legion.
The Ukrainian Defence Ministry said on Telegram on Wednesday that commanders in this new legion are visiting detained Russian soldiers to select those who will switch sides and fight in the war for Ukraine.
In a follow-up post, it said the "first volunteers" of ex-Russian troops "have already begun" their training.
Last week soldiers in a tank drove over and killed their brigade commander, Colonel Yuri Medvedev.
Meanwhile, a UK spy chief has revealed mutinous Russian forces are sabotaging their weapons and refusing to carry out orders amid surging Red Army deaths.
According to Ukrainian officials, more than 17,000 Russian troops have been killed since Putin ordered his butchers to invade on February 24.
Putin “massively misjudged” how hard conquering Ukraine would be but is bent on his “personal war” — even as his poorly fed and armed soldiers are giving up.
Telling footage showed despairing conscripts complaining of being “thrown into the s**t” with 1940s rifles that do not work.
Planes have been accidentally downed by friendly fire and Russia’s “command and control is in chaos,” GCHQ boss Sir Jeremy Fleming has said.
Met with fierce resistance, Russian troops have been bogged down and pushed back.
The strategically important town of Trostyanets in the north-east has been retaken, the occupying soldiers fleeing, leaving their uniforms behind.
But Putin’s fearful generals are hiding the scale of the battlefield losses from him as what was meant to be a lightning war grinds on.
The eavesdroppers at GCHQ have picked up chatter of mutiny and discord in the ranks by intercepting phone calls, messages and emails.
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Sir Jeremy told an audience in Canberra, Australia: “We know Putin’s campaign is beset by problems — low morale, logistical failures and high Russian casualty numbers. We’ve seen Putin lie to his own people in an attempt to hide military incompetence.
“We’ve seen Russian soldiers — short of weapons and morale — refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft.”
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