Footage recorded by Ukrainian soldiers this week, which shows Russian military vehicles being towed away from the battlefield by Ukrainian forces, was shared widely on Ukraine-focused social media accounts this week.
One video, recorded on a cell phone, shows Russian tanks captured by the Ukrainians towing away a Russian BTR-82A armored personnel carrier. In the 15-second-long clip, the armor vehicle is seen emblazoned with the Russian “Z” symbol.
Ukrainian troops raised a Ukrainian flag on the tank as they use it to tow away multiple Russian vehicles.
Another clip shows the Russian T-80BV tank towing the personnel carriers down a country road between two farm fields in Kharkiv Oblast.
Reports Say Czech Volunteers Responsible
As the videos went viral on Twitter and other social media platforms, reports revealed how the two Russian tanks were towed away by Czech volunteers. The foreign fighters reportedly captured the vehicles from the frontline in Izium.
It comes off the back of several victories in the region for Czech volunteers in the Ukrainian International League.
Other video clips shared online show Czech volunteers celebrating in a captured Russian T-80BV, with additional BTR-82A personnel carriers seen in the background.
The volunteers from the Czech Republic trophied russian T-80BV and against the background of 2 more lined BTR-82A. pic.twitter.com/tResfLndvw
— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) July 4, 2022
Putting Russian Tanks To Use
Ukrainian forces aren’t just capturing tanks in Kharkiv Oblast and the city of Izium, which has seen intensified combat in recent weeks but which is not currently controlled by the Russians. The tanks are also being redeployed by Ukrainian forces and used to push back Russian soldiers in the region.
CBC reports how Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline in Kharkiv believe that their victories in the region have been overshadowed by recent advances made by the Russians in Luhansk Oblast. In Ukraine’s eastern flank, Russian forces have successfully taken control of every major city and urban center in Luhansk, finally taking control of the city of Lysychansk on Sunday.
Ukrainian officials also reportedly confirmed to CBC that at least three Russian tanks have been captured by the 93rd Mechanized Brigade in Izium, all of which were quickly put back into service.
Video footage of some Russian tanks being totally destroyed by the 93rd Mechanized Brigade was also shared online this week. In the footage, recorded by a rotary blade Ukrainian UAV, Russian tanks are seen being struck by various Ukrainian artillery. The tanks are left on fire and smoking in Ukrainian fields, destroyed beyond repair.
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) July 5, 2022
“Considering the fact that Russia and Ukraine share many of the same arms from the old Soviet Union, it makes total sense that Kyiv can take seemingly destroyed Russian weapons and repurpose them,” explained Harry J. Kazianis, President and CEO of the Rogue States Project.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.