The Kremlin supports a cash prize contest for the destruction of NATO tanks if they are sent to Ukraine. The biggest prize offered so far is over IDR 1 billion. Photo/REUTERS
MOSCOW – The Kremlin supports a contest with cash prizes to seize or burn NATO battle tanks to be sent to Ukraine . The biggest prize of 5 million rubles (more than Rp. 1 billion) has been offered by a chemical company Russia .
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, as quoted by Russia Today, Thursday (2/2/2023), said the cash rewards offered by Russian businessmen and officials for the destruction of Western military equipment in Ukraine will definitely lead to more interested people willing to undertake the task. .
He noted that although Western heavy tanks such as the Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams have yet to be delivered to the Kiev forces, such a proposal demonstrates the “unity and desire of all parties” to contribute to achieving the goals of Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
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Last week, Berlin announced it would supply Kiev with 14 Leopard 2 tanks and allow other European countries to export their own stockpiles to Ukraine, for a total of 112 tanks.
Washington, meanwhile, promised 31 Abrams tanks, but did not expect to deliver them until the end of 2023.
Following a Western decision, the governor of Russia’s eastern Zabaikalsky Region, Alexander Osipov, signed an order stating that local soldiers participating in the fighting in Ukraine could receive a monetary reward if they managed to capture or destroy a German or American tank.
Those who seize the Leopard 2 in working condition can get paid as much as 3 million rubles ($42,909), while those who destroy it can get 1 million rubles ($14,303).
As for the American M1 Abrams tank, the governor has pledged 1.5 million rubles ($21,450) for the seizure of the vehicle and 500,000 rubles ($7,150) for its destruction.
A similar prize was offered by Russian chemical company Fores, which said Friday it would pay 5 million rubles ($70,700) to any Russian soldier who destroys or captures one of the tanks and offered 500,000 rubles ($7,070) for the trophy. next.
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The company also said it would pay a 15 million rubles ($212,100) prize for the first F-15 or F-16 fighter jet that crashed if such weapons were delivered to Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly pressed against foreign arms supplies to Ukraine, arguing that it will only cause more bloodshed and will not change the outcome of Russian military operations.
The Kremlin has also called the decision to send heavy tanks to Kiev evidence of NATO’s direct involvement in the conflict and has warned that the tanks will catch fire like other Western weapons already sent to Ukraine.
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