The Russian Defense Ministry (MoD) says its troops have captured NATO-supplied armor in the Zaporizhia region, some of which appear to have been hastily abandoned by fleeing Ukrainian soldiers.
The MoD released footage of Russian troops inspecting a German-made Leopard 2 main battle tank and US-produced Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, which are said to be still intact, some with engines still running. The Russian military declared that the Western-supplied heavy armored vehicles are "our trophies". WATCH the official Russian military footage below:
🚩The Russian Ministry of Defense just released footage of captured Ukrainian Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and a Leopard 2 tank. pic.twitter.com/S0ZYy4c6Cb— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) June 13, 2023
One Russian soldier declares on video, "This [explicit] hardware is not as scary as it seemed." He's seen picking up a rocket-propelled grenade launcher which had been left atop a tank.
The defense ministry statement said that the condition in which they were seized "indicates the rapid pace of the engagement and the abandonment of the battle-ready hardware by the Ukrainian armed forces," according to a statement in state media. And AFP observes that "The Defense Ministry said several of the captured vehicles had working engines, suggesting that the battles they were involved in had been short and that Ukrainian troops had 'fled' their offensive positions.
This comes after last week the Russian military reportedly destroyed its first Leopard 2 battle tank along with multiple other NATO-supplied vehicles, such as Bradleys. Moscow has been eager to show off the evidence of the disabled and damaged Western heavy weapons systems. It's not entirely clear whether the new footage issued Tuesday features close-up of a fresh batch of destroyed vehicles, or if is the same incident from last week.
Tyler Rogoway, the editor-in-chief of The War Zone (a publication of The Drive) has recently explained to Western analysts why we are about to witness a lot more destroyed Western armor to come:
Ever since more advanced NATO armor was possibly in the works for Ukraine, I stressed that we will be seeing burned out/destroyed examples, potentially a lot of them, and that is going to be the reality that may be a tough pill to swallow for some.
These things are not invincible by any means, and NATO fights with them in complex combined arms manner that helps maximize their advantages and minimize their vulnerabilities.
This is just the beginning. We will see many more destroyed western main battle tanks and armored fighting vehicles. Russia will learn how to best effectively attack them based on Ukraine's tactics and Ukraine will learn how best to preserve them while using them effectively. This happens beyond accelerated training. Lessons learned the hard way, in blood.
If you were not expecting this, you have listened to the wrong perspectives, and this is just the beginning. Unseating an enemy force that had over a year to prepare for just this battle was never going to be some cakewalk. Anyone who pushed that idea is not living in reality. Time will tell how this all plays out, but dead armor, including advanced western types, is going to be a common facet of this offensive, not some stunning exception.
Below: the tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles destroyed last week:
But the US says it will not be deterred in its commitment to keep supplying miliary hardware to Ukraine. US state-backed Voice of America reported Monday, "The United States is providing up to $325 million in additional military aid for Ukraine, a U.S. defense official tells VOA."
More and more media outlets throughout the morning have confirmed the new Russian MoD footage as authentic:
"The package is expected to include Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles that can replace those damaged and destroyed in the Ukrainian counteroffensive currently underway, according to two Defense officials, who spoke to VOA on the condition of anonymity ahead of the package’s expected release Tuesday," the report detailed. So already Western tanks are getting beaten back, but NATO is doubling down, saying the steady supplies will continue (at taxpayers' expense!) even as more and more images of mangled Western equipment strewn about the Ukrainian battlefield emerge.