Russian TV hosts mock ‘toothless’ German and ‘battered’ US tanks
Ukraine: President Zelensky announces coalition of modern tanks
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Russian TV presenters were quick to dismiss German and American tanks’ threats on the battlefield by exposing what military experts called “vulnerabilities” of the military vehicles. One Russian state TV host said German Leopard 2 tanks are “toothless cars”, while another described American Abrams tanks as “battered”.
A Western decision to send battle tanks to Ukraine was hailed enthusiastically from Washington to Berlin to Kyiv. Moscow first shrugged it off — and later launched another barrage of attacks.
The Kremlin has previously warned that such tank deliveries would be a dangerous escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, and it has strongly denounced the watershed move by Germany and the United States to send heavy weaponry to its foe.
But it insists the new armour will not stop Russia from achieving its goals in Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The potential it gives to the Ukrainian armed forces is clearly exaggerated.
“Those tanks will burn just like any others.”
Showing graphics of a potential battle between Russian and German tanks, one TV host said: “Say a dozen Leopards and 10 Breakthroughs, the outcome of the battle will be decided.
“According to calculations, by the time the German iron animals only come within the range of the T-90S, due to the high range and rate of fire, more than half of the enemy vehicles will already be burned.
“Leopard 2 6 has a limited choice of ammo.
“These are both ordinary and caliber shells. The metal L55 gun was installed on these modifications of the tank.
“And in theory, it can hit at a distance of up to four kilometres.
“But bad luck, the range with solid fire is only 2.5 kilometres.”
In another TV news segment titled “Battered Ambrams”, a second TV host said: “They are expensive, but they burn like everyone else. Here are the main vulnerabilities of Abrams.
“According to military experts, it is especially worth highlighting the lower side part here.
“There, as a rule, a grenade launcher is placed.
“There is also ammunition in the stern, which can detonate when hit by weaker armour also from the side, as well as in the gap between the hull and the turret.”
Moscow played down the move right after the announcement in an apparent attempt to save face as the West raised the stakes in Ukraine. Some Russian experts also emphasised that the supply of the deadly armour will be relatively limited and could take months to reach the front.
On Thursday, Russia launched a new wave of missiles and self-exploding drones across Ukraine — the latest in a series of strikes, many of which have targeted power plants and other key infrastructure.
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Russian military bloggers and commentators say that such attacks involve meticulous preparation — so the latest barrage was likely planned in advance and was not necessarily linked to the tank announcement.
Yohann Michel, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, think tank, observed that while Western arms supplies irk Russia, it can do nothing to stop them.
He said: “It’s a problem that they can’t necessarily address,” before noting that earlier decisions by the US and its allies to supply air-defence weapons to Ukraine could have been even more worrying for Moscow.
President Vladimir Putin, his diplomats, and military leaders have repeatedly warned the West that supplying long-range weapons capable of striking deep inside Russia would mark a red line and trigger massive retaliation.
While other weapons like tanks and specific air defence systems have drawn warnings from Russian officials, the wording has been deliberately vague, perhaps to allow the Kremlin to avoid getting cornered by making specific threats.
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