Russian Tank Fires on One of Its Own Troops, Video Appears to Show


Footage has emerged that appears to show a Russian tank firing on one of its own soldiers from almost point-blank range in Ukraine.

The video was posted on Ukrainian Telegram channel Extreme Tourism Company, which has 2,200 subscribers, and credited to Ukraine’s 67th Mechanized Brigade.

Russian troops have largely succeeded in capturing the Donbas city of Bakhmut, following months of fighting, though Kyiv denies it has lost control entirely. Ukrainian intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov said he expects his country to launch a widely anticipated counter-offensive “soon,” in an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK.

In the 54-second Telegram footage, which was first posted by Extreme Tourism Company on Wednesday, a tank can be seen advancing through a shell-cratered landscape. After about 15 seconds the tank stops and fires a shot from close range at a soldier who is walking away from it through a wooded area. The shell explodes near the soldier throwing up a cloud of dust, meaning its not clear if they survived.

A Russian T-72B tank, which had been captured by Ukrainian forces, is pictured in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on September 28, 2022. A Russian soldier was shot at by a Russian tank this week, according to social media reports.
Scott Peterson/GETTY

In an accompanying post Extreme Tourism Company attributed the footage, which appears to have been filmed from a drone, to Ukraine’s 67th Brigade. They claim both the tank and soldier were Russian, commenting: “Raska (an offensive term for Russians) is a village of fools.

“The tanker did not swell that he was near his positions, and the orc clearly did not expect this from his tankers!”

Russian soldiers are widely referred to as orcs in Ukraine.

The footage was also shared by the much larger Ukrainian Tpyxa Telegram channel, which has more than 2,700,000 subscribers. It sarcastically said of the footage: “Great job—Keep it up!”

Telegram has been widely used to document and comment on the war in Ukraine, by both Russian and Ukrainian users.

Newsweek has not been able to independently verify the footage’s authenticity. Both the Russian and Ukrainian ministries of defense have been contacted for comment by email.

Earlier this week soldiers from two pro-Ukrainian Russian paramilitary groups, the Freedom of Russia Legion and Russian Volunteer Corps, briefly crossed the border and captured a number of villages in Russia’s Belgorod region, before retreating.

In a video message, released to coincide with the attack on Monday, a Freedom of Russia Legion soldier said the group hopes to overthrow Vladimir Putin’s government.

He said: “We are Russians like you. We want our children to grow up in peace and be free people so that they can travel, study and just be happy in a free country.”

The soldier described Putin’s Russia as “rotten from corruption, lies, censorship, restrictions on freedoms and repression.”

On Thursday Yevgeny Prigozhin, commander of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, announced his troops will withdraw from Bakhmut by June 1, and be replaced by regular Russian forces.

He commented: “We’ll hand over positions, ammunition, everything including dry rations, to [Russian] troops.”

Wagner has been heavily involved in the battle for Bakhmut since the summer of 2022, with Prigozhin claiming earlier this week that the group had recruited 50,000 prisoners into its ranks, of which about 20 percent have been killed.


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