Ukrainian soldier steals T-64BV tank, surrenders to Russians

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On the social network X, as well as on Telegram, a video is shared, which is said to have filmed a Ukrainian soldier surrendering to Russian units. According to the claims distributed with the video, this is the Ukrainian Maxim Likhachev, who in February was transferred to the 119th Territorial Defense Brigade, and a month later to the 59th Separate Mechanized Infantry Brigade. 

The more interesting part of the claims is that before the soldier Likhachev surrendered, he stole a Ukrainian T-64BV tank and drove it to the Russian position. Different sources present the incident differently. According to the most widely circulated version, the transfer of Maxim and the T-64BV tank was pre-agreed with the Russian soldiers. 

At the beginning, the video shows the tank approaching the Russian squad. At one point, the tank rises sharply upwards. Russian sources claim that it was the “cannon up” that was the prearranged signal to the Russians that Maxim would surrender and was no threat to them.

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The video then recorded the entire procedure of the handover: from Maxim Likhachev getting out of the tank, his hands raised high, his clothes open, and the check for a hidden weapon or ammunition that could turn him into a suicide bomber to “take with him” as many Russian soldiers as possible. At the end of the video, it can be seen that the check showed that Maxim Likhachev was harmless and he was received “with a congratulatory and approving pat on the shoulder.” “Are you okay?” is heard in Russian, and Maxim replies, “Yes”

It is noteworthy that the camera used by one of the Russian soldiers is dated 01/01/2008. This does not mean, however, that the incident happened precisely in this period. It is more likely that the date and time in the camera’s memory are simply not set correctly. Despite everything, and despite the incident reported by TASS, does not undertake to confirm that the statements made above by the Russian sources are true. 

About T-64BV tank

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The T-64BV is a Soviet-era main battle tank that was introduced in the 1980s as an upgraded version of the original T-64. It features advanced armor and weaponry for its time, making it a formidable vehicle on the battlefield. The T-64BV is known for its composite armor, which includes layers of steel and ceramic to enhance its defensive capabilities.

In terms of dimensions, the T-64BV measures approximately 9.225 meters in length, including the gun, 3.415 meters in width, and 2.172 meters in height. Its combat weight is around 42.4 tons. These dimensions make it relatively compact compared to some other main battle tanks, allowing for greater maneuverability in various terrains.

The T-64BV is powered by a 5TDF multifuel diesel engine, which produces 700 horsepower. This engine allows the tank to reach a maximum speed of about 60 kilometers per hour on roads and 35 kilometers per hour off-road. The tank’s operational range is approximately 500 kilometers with external fuel tanks, providing it with substantial operational flexibility.

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The fire control system of the T-64BV includes a laser rangefinder and a ballistic computer, which significantly improve the accuracy of its main gun. The tank is equipped with a 125mm smoothbore gun, which is capable of firing a variety of ammunition types. The fire control system also includes a night vision device, enabling the tank to operate effectively in low-light conditions.

The T-64BV can fire several types of ammunition, including armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot [APFSDS] rounds, high-explosive anti-tank [HEAT] rounds, and high-explosive fragmentation [HE-FRAG] rounds. Additionally, it can launch anti-tank guided missiles [ATGMs] through its main gun, providing it with a versatile range of offensive capabilities.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

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On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.


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