June 12, 2023

Shooting up Deeres


Shooting up Deeres

On June 6, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian forces were repelling Ukraine's counteroffensive and that Russia had destroyed 28 tanks, including eight German Leopards and three French AMX-10 wheeled tanks.

Shoigu provided no proof of his assertions, yet shortly afterward the military circulated a short video with footage that it claimed showed "the destruction of foreign armored vehicles, including Leopard tanks."

But then Russian pro-war bloggers quickly cast doubt on the video.

The telegram channel “Military Informant,” after analyzing the silhouettes of the vehicles, said that, in reality, the video showed the destruction of US-made John Deer combine harvesters of the 9000 and 700 series, as well as a John Deer tractor-sprayer 4830.

“We don’t know why it was necessary to release clips showing the erroneous defeat of agricultural equipment for an actual video showing the defeat of Leopards,” the authors wrote.

The pro-war Telegram channel Rybar came to the same conclusion. “If you zoom in on the frame, then in the contours of the object you can see something similar to agricultural machinery. Wheels stand out in the outlines, and the 'trunk' resembles an auger. And the helicopter crew itself does not call the target a Leopard.”

The “destruction of the Leopards” also drew a strange comment from the notorious head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin. “The shots clearly show how the Leopard tanks move in a strange tactical maneuver towards each other. These tanks are disguised as agricultural harvesters. Their muzzle is bent down. However, this did not prevent our [guys] from seeing enemy equipment in them.”

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