• Russian media claim Ukrainian tank crew fired at their own men 
  • Analysts say the tank was Russian and fired at Ukrainian soldiers 
  • The unverified video gives no clue as to which side the men belonged to

A shocking video has emerged showing a tank, allegedly Ukrainian, firing point-blank at Ukrainian soldiers. The unprovoked attack caught on camera allegedly took place at a checkpoint near Kharkov and has triggered multiple theories and questions.

The video, doing the rounds on Twitter, shows a group of soldiers engaged in some task near the checkpoint. The tank is then seen approaching them from their right but the soldiers take no particular notice — ostensibly because it is, or looks like, a friendly vehicle — before it suddenly fires at them at very close range.

The video is shot from long range, making it difficult to identify the soldiers -- Russian or Ukrainian — adding to the confusion, and raising competing claims about the truth behind the incident.

Though the video could be independently verified by The International Business Times, reports quoting Russian media outlets said the crew of a Ukrainian tank launched an unprovoked attack on Ukrainian troops. According to Avia.Pro, the crew of a Ukrainian tank attacked its own servicemen for no apparent reason. No other details were provided.

The identity of the soldiers, who were likely killed in the firing, could not be ascertained due to the distance at which the visual was recorded. The video was widely shared by pro-Russian handles and forums.

However, war trackers and military watchers on Twitter refute this version, though none of them could verify the footage. According to them, this was another attempt at propaganda by the Russians and the tank crew was Russian, who fired upon the Ukrainian troops. If true, it is unclear why the Ukrainian soldiers failed to notice the approaching enemy tank.

Other theories claim that the attack was carried out by a T-72B3 tank, which may have prompted the Ukrainians to believe it was theirs.

Meanwhile, there's still another explanation: The tank was Russian but captured by Ukrainians, who fired at Russian soldiers. They said the Russian soldiers were unaware that the tank was captured by the Ukrainians, presumed it one of theirs, and were not aware of the threat.

That said, the video makes it clear that the firing wasn't accidental as just after the cannon shot, more gun fires could be heard immediately. A T-72 tank has significant firepower and its 125 mm diameter cannon is released at a muzzle velocity of 1,500 m/s. The shot can overcome all armored targets within the fire field.

The truth behind this incident may remain hidden amid the disinformation warfare both sides have been engaged in since the beginning of the conflict.

Experts are now predicting potential tank battles in the Eastern areas where Russia has started a new offensive. According to them, the eastern part of the country is more rural, flat and open land, ideal for machines with long-range capabilities, and Ukraine would need mechanized forces, tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to counter the enemy.

Even with no sign of resistance, Russian tanks and military vehicles patrol Volnovakha's streets as civilians walk around and cycle
Representation. Even with no sign of resistance, Russian tanks and military vehicles patrol Volnovakha's streets. AFP / Alexander NEMENOV