The moment a Russian soldier gives the finger to a Ukrainian drone just before it drops a grenade on the tank next to him has been captured on camera.
The tank, a Russian BTR-82A APC, was being hidden at the side of a building but was left a blazing wreck by the attack as Ukrainian forces continue to defend the country’s east.
In the footage released by Ukrainian military and posted on Twitter, six Russian troops are seen converged around the vehicle and one of them sticks up his middle finger in the direction of the drone.
The drone then attacks the tank with a grenade, causing it to burst into flames. It comes as Ukraine says Russian losses could now total as many as 30,000 troops and 1,330 tanks.
Fighting has intensified in Ukraine’s Luhansk region as Russian forces try to capture the largest city still under Ukrainian control in the territory, officials said on Sunday.
The Kremlin’s forces have their sights on Sievierodonetsk, which is located around 145km from the Russian border on the strategically-important Siverskiy Donetsk river.
In recent weeks, the Kremlin’s forces have pounded it with heavy artillery, with much of the city thought to lie in ruins.
“Some 90pc of buildings are damaged. More than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock has been completely destroyed. There is no telecommunication. There is constant shelling,” the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
“Capturing Sievierodonetsk is a fundamental task for the occupiers…We do all we can to hold this advance,” he added.
The fighting in the city has grown fiercer, according to the region’s governor Serhiy Gaidai, who described the Russian assaults as “extremely escalated”.
Mr Gaidai said it was impossible to calculate the number of casualties as the shelling was so persistent, adding that Russian forces have dug themselves in at a hotel on the northern edge of the city.
“They cannot advance further into the city and are taking casualties, but we are not able right now to push them out of the hotel,” he added.