THE SUN joined a Ukrainian tank crew in a terrifying shoot-and-scoot operation.
They gave us exclusive access on a lightning blitz in Kherson province.
Peter JordanThe Sun joined a Ukrainian tank crew in a terrifying shoot-and-scoot operation[/caption]
Peter JordanSunman Jerome Starkey was given exclusive access to join a tank crew in Kherson province[/caption]
Their T-64BV tank roared out of a secret hiding place, concealed from Russian drones, and charged into no-man’s land to fire.
But seconds after this picture was taken high explosive howitzer shells smashed into farmland around us.
One shell shredded trees 250 yards away while a second tore into a field sending soil hundreds of feet into the air.
Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has vowed to build a million-strong force to repel Putin’s troops.
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But Ukraine urgently needs more weapons and quickly. “Each day we’re waiting for howitzers, we can lose a hundred soldiers,” Mr Reznikov said.
In the absence of heavy guns, which can shoot up to 40 miles, Ukraine’s forces have to use tanks as mobile artillery – but their range is just three miles.
The tank’s commander, Sasha, had orders to blitz positions of an elite Russian VDV airborne division.
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We followed in a soft-skin pick-up with a band of British and US volunteers.
The 43-ton tank stopped on a track between two fields and we leapt into a ditch for cover.
The gun turret bobbed and swivelled.
We heard the auto-loader clunk.
Then a ball of flames burst out of the 18ft long barrel.
A Ukrainian lookout reported back.
Sasha adjusted his aim and fired again twice.
A split second later we heard the shout of “incoming”.
A 152mm Russian gun – which could have been up to 18 miles away – was getting closer with every shot.
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Russian troops have so much ammo they can blast targets indiscriminately.
Ukraine has to make each shot count.
Peter JordanThe tank’s commander, Sasha, had orders to blitz positions of an elite Russian VDV airborne division[/caption]
Peter JordanA Ukrainian T-64 tank moves to a undisclosed position to fire on a Russian target[/caption]
Peter JordanThe tank fires on a Russian target[/caption]
Peter JordanIn the absence of heavy guns Ukraine’s forces have to use tanks as mobile artillery – but their range is just three miles[/caption]