Leopard tank with Polish mercenaries captured in Ukraine – Muratov

MOSCOW, RUSSIA — The first Leopard tank in Ukraine was captured and crewed by Polish mercenaries. This is claimed by Mr. Alexey Muratov, deputy secretary of the Donetsk branch of the “United Russia” party. It is the political party of the Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin. According to Mr. Muratov, the tank was captured in the area of the city of Bakhmut.

Berlin continues to give Leopard 2A4 tanks, 15 go to Prague
Photo credit: Defence View

The Leopard tank was captured on March 1st. Earlier in the day, Mr. Jan Gagin announced that Leopard tanks had been spotted in the Bakhmut area. Mr. Gagin is an advisor to the Acting Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that on February 24, Poland delivered the first four Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

Truth or propaganda?

There is currently no evidence that a Leopard tank was captured. There is no photographic material. The latter is very important because if the claim were true, Russian soldiers would not miss the opportunity to take a picture next to Leopard with a Russian flag on its turret.

The Russian Ministry of Defense also did not mention the capture of a Leopard tank. In the daily summary of the military department for March 1, fighting near Bakhmut is mentioned and that’s it. We remind you that the Ministry of Defense of Russia also likes to announce captured Western weapons in Ukraine. Remember how many times Russia has claimed to have destroyed Ukrainian HIMARS systems without even providing photographic material. Now the case is the same, but Russian MoD doesn’t even mention the possible capturing.

One of the most active pro-Russian accounts on Telegram also does not provide photo material. They only quote the words of Mr. Muratov. At the moment, BulgarianMilitary.com cannot confirm the credibility of Mr. Muratov’s claims. BulgarianMilitary.com only quotes the statement of a political figure from the leading Russian political party.

The Battle of Bakhmut

Currently, the fiercest fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops is taking place in the region of Bakhmut [Artemovsk in Russian]. The city and its infrastructure for a key supply hub for the Ukrainian army. However, the city is just as important for the same reasons as the Russian military.

Sources report that the Russian army currently has the upper hand. The city is literally surrounded by Russian troops, including troops from the private military company Wagner. According to the acting head of the DNR, Mr. Denis Pushilin, all important peaks in the city are under the control of the Russian army. He announced this on February 16th.

Leopard tank with Polish mercenaries captured in Ukraine - Muratov
Photo by Marko Djurica/Reuters

An option is currently being considered whether Ukraine could send thousands more troops to Bakhmut. However, the possibility of withdrawing the troops currently there is also being considered. This was stated by the spokesman of the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mr. Sergey Cherevaty.

Western tanks in Ukraine

Currently, Ukraine has only four of the tanks promised by the allies. These are precisely the Polish Leopards.

Ukraine expects more deliveries of Leopard, which appears to be leading in terms of numbers among the other promised – Challenger 2 and Abrams. Ukrainian crews are currently being trained on how to operate the third type of tank.

Challenger 2 is expected to be the next to be delivered to Ukraine. London promised 14 tanks of this model. The American Abrams will be in Ukraine either by the end of the year or by the middle of next. These are the words of senior Pentagon officials in their official statements.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 21 February 2022, Russia claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility. Russia claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers. They tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.

On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. According to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.

On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.

Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, a “special military operation” can only take place after a UN resolution. There is no such resolution. So this is an invasion and war against Ukraine.


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