The Russian Armed Forces have destroyed the first German Leopard 2 tank. This was reported by Bild journalist Bjorn Stritzel in his article after a detailed study of video footage showing the Russian military destroying a convoy of Ukrainian armed forces’ equipment in the Zaporizhzhya direction.
Photo: Russian Ministry of Defense
“Several vehicles were hit, including one of the Leopard 2A4 tanks. Thick smoke rises from it. It is unclear whether the crew was able to escape, ” Strizel writes.
He emphasized that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will suffer significant losses in equipment and personnel in the offensive on the Zaporizhzhia direction since even the most modern tanks like Leopard 2A6 and Challenger 2 are not invulnerable. At the same time, the commentator believes that the Ukrainian command should take into account the losses incurred in this offensive when planning the next one.
This information has sparked lively discussions among German readers.
In the comments, there is a reference, in particular, to the speeches of Bundestag deputies from the parties “Die Linke” and “Alternative for Germany” in 2022, who warned that German tanks would “once again go up in flames in the Ukrainian steppes, and the whole world would witness it as a defeat of German technology.” At the time, German Deputy P. Bistron reminded parliamentarians in the Bundestag of the outcomes when German tanks were previously sent to combat Russians.
As a result, Russian tanks ended up in Berlin.
There have also been reports in the Russian media that the German air defense system “Iris-T” was successfully hit.
Military observer Julian Röpcke from Bild considers the corresponding video of the destruction of the air defense system to be authentic. According to his assessment, the Ukrainian Armed Forces lost a German air defense system worth 17 million euros due to a “series of fatal mistakes”:
- The air defense system was deployed too close to the front line, just 26 km away. It ended up within the 40-kilometer range of the Russian strike drone “Lancet”.
- The complex, originally intended for Egypt, was not repainted, retaining its light color pattern for desert camouflage. “In the Ukrainian summer forest, it became more of a signaling color than a camouflage,” writes Repke.
- The Iris-T system had its radar turned off, and additional protection, such as the Gepard air defense system, was not provided.