The latest footage from the fighting for Ukrainian town of Avdiivka shows what is now becoming something of a regular occurrence – the destruction of a Russian armored column under withering artillery fire.

The video – set to some inappropriately jaunty music – shows several Russia vehicles driving through fields in an undisclosed location near the embattled town in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

As the lead tank weaves across the crater-strewn landscape, it is hit by artillery fire from Ukraine’s 116th separate brigade.

The tanks turret can be seen flying into the air as the vehicle explodes in a large fireball.

Other tanks in the attack, seeing the fate of their comrades, slow down only to come under the same fire. One is hit and totally destroyed while another suffers less damage and at least some of the crew try to escape.

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The drone footage then cuts to a wider shot showing three burning wrecks while another tank makes a hasty reverse retreat.

The scenes have become a regular occurrence as Russia continues its hugely costly attempt to take Avdiivka.

Last month a video showed at least 14 Russian armored vehicles apparently forced to drive in single file to pass through minefields behind a mine-clearing tank attempting to make their way through high explosive and cluster munition strikes.

The majority of the force is BTRs (Soviet/post-Soviet military armored personnel carriers): half are shown to be knocked out or disabled and smoking at the end of the attack, and Ukrainian positions seem intact.

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A close-up in the two-minute edited video shows at least five Russian infantrymen jumping off a BTR near Ukrainian positions. A Ukrainian anti-tank rocket fired at close range hits the BTR in seconds.

Russia has sustained record levels of losses in its attempt to take Andiivka, with other footage of the fighting showing chaotic scenes and even Russian vehicles running over their own soldiers.

Russia has once again stepped up attacks on Avdiivka and is “almost certainly attempting a pincer movement to encircle the town,” reports on Thursday said.

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Moscow’s forces are using armoured vehicles, targeting the industrial zone and hitting positions in the town “around the clock” to strike high-rise buildings, the town’s mayor,  Vitaliy Barabash said on national television.

“It is very hot. Indeed, in the last few days, the enemy has become more active,” he added.

The British Ministry of Defense in an intelligence report said Russia “is almost certainly attempting a pincer movement to encircle the town.”

It said Russian forces are likely near the town's huge coke plant in a “key tactical position” close to the main road leading to Avdiivka.

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