TechRussian BMP-2s caught in deadly minefield: Strategic missteps exposed

Russian BMP‑2s caught in deadly minefield: Strategic missteps exposed

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)
Przemysław Juraszek

27 June 2024 07:12, updated: 27 June 2024 08:10

The Russians continue to amaze during the war in Ukraine. One of the more exciting events is 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 whose crews are nearby. Strangely, the Russians did not call in an engineering unit that could clear the path after the first loss to mines. Instead, they tried to continue, losing three valuable vehicles (the Russians have significant shortages in IFVs).

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

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

It is worth noting that Ukrainians and Russians are eager to use scatterable mining systems launched, for instance, from BM-21 Grad, BM-27 Uragan launchers or drones. These systems allow for quick and relatively safe mining of an area several kilometres from the launcher. Dedicated scatterable mining systems like the Russian ISDM Zemledelije or the Polish BAOBAB-K are particularly useful in such tasks.

Such actions are especially effective within a few hours after enemy engineers have visited the region and marked a given 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. Even a few hours or days of delay can lead soldiers following the "safe" path to be unaware of the danger, resulting in increased casualties.

The PFM-1 or PTM-3 mines are especially troublesome in Ukraine. The first is a butterfly anti-personnel mine containing 75 grams of liquid explosive material housed in a soft plastic casing. Its detonation is caused by crushing the casing, typically resulting in limb injuries.

The second type is a 4.9-kilogram anti-tank mine, of which 1.8 kilograms is the explosive charge. This can at least heavily damage an infantry fighting vehicle by destroying, for example, 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, launched from MARS II launchers.

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