| 12 April 2024, Friday |

Russian soldier gets $12,000 for destroying German tank in Ukraine

A private charity has awarded a 1 million rouble ($11,842) payment to a Russian soldier who damaged a German-made Leopard tank during a combat in Ukraine, Russia’s defense ministry announced on Tuesday.

It released a video of the soldier, Andrei Kravtsov, sitting on a medical bed and getting an award certificate from Alexander Karelin, a three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling champion.

The government did not indicate when or where Kravtsov blew up the tank, or what he was being treated for in the hospital. He looked to be missing his right hand in the footage.

Russia says its forces have destroyed a number of German-made Leopards and U.S.-supplied Bradley fighting vehicles since Ukraine launched a counteroffensive earlier this month. Reuters could not independently verify the numbers involved.

The defense ministry last week said it had paid individual bonuses to more than 10,000 Russian servicemen since the start of the Ukraine war – something Moscow calls a “special military operation” – for destroying or capturing Ukrainian or Western-supplied hardware. It said the rate was 100,000 roubles for a tank and 300,000 roubles for a plane.

Handing over the certificate for the private bonus, Karelin told Kravtsov: “These are wonderful additional payments for those who cause significant damage to the enemy, on top of what the state is doing.”

The bonus was paid from a fund established by a private group of entrepreneurs, an example of how some Russian businesses are seeking ways to publicly display their loyalty to the Kremlin’s military campaign in Ukraine.

  • Reuters