A Russian reconnaissance group had destroyed a German-made Leopard-2 main battle tank of the Kiev forces with a crew of Bundeswehr service members in the Zaporozhye direction, the commander of the group with the moniker “Legend” told Sputnik on September 23.
“When we curbed another offensive and ATGM-ed [destroyed with an anti-tank guided missile] the Leopard, we moved out to the burned vehicle hoping to seize the ‘tongue.’ Then we saw that the crew’s driver-mechanic was severely injured and the others were dead. Once he awoke, the mechanic started yelling ‘nicht schießen’ [“do not shoot” in German],” the commander of the reconnaissance group said.
According to Legend, the driver stated that he was not a mercenary but a German service member and that he and the rest of the crew were members of the same Bundeswehr unit.
The alleged German service member named his brigade and revealed its deployment position while receiving medical aid, the commander said, adding that he died from his wounds minutes after he was found despite efforts to save him.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has not yet confirmed or denied the information reported by Sputnik, nor has the Bundeswehr.
Germany and other NATO members promised to supply Ukraine with around 100 Leopard 2 tanks in recent months, at least 21 of which are of the A6 version.
Ukrainian Leopard-2 crews, who had very little time to train in the tank before the start of the counteroffensive last June, performed very poorly. Most of the tanks have been reportedly destroyed or damaged by the Russian military.
If confirmed, the participation of German service members in the Ukrainian counteroffensive could lead to a very serious military escalation. Russia may consider this a direct attack by NATO.
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