A Russian soldier has handed himself and his tank over to Ukrainian troops for a reward of $10,000 (£7,500) and a chance at Ukrainian citizenship.
Misha, one of alleged war criminal Vladimir Putin’s invading soldiers, surrendered in a T-72B3 main battle tank after his two other crewmates escaped home and his commanding officer threatened to shoot him.
Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Victor Andrusiv said Misha had contacted Ukraine’s national police by phone and arranged a place to meet.
He said: ‘For a few weeks in the National Police have identified the phones used by Russians.
The moment a Russian tank driver called Misha surrendered to Ukrainian troops together with his T-72B3 main battle tank for a reward of $10,000
Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Victor Andrusiv (pictured) said Misha had contacted Ukraine’s national police by phone and arranged a place to meet
‘On these phones we regularly send SMS about how to surrender and hand over the equipment.
‘A few days ago, Misha called us.
‘We handed over the information about him to the GUR MO [Ukrainian military intelligence].
‘He didn’t see the point of war.
Ukrainian forces have used anti-tank defences, including British NLAWs, against T-72B3s at close range. Pictured: A destroyed Russian T-72B3
By 2020 Russia had 558 T-72B3 main battle tanks (pictured in Mariupol) in its arsenal
Each T-72B3 tank has the capacity for a three-person crew and is fitted with a 125 mm smoothbore main gun as well as a machine gun and an anti-tank guided missile. Pictured: Russian tanks T-72B3 take part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia, ahead of the invasion of Ukraine
‘Misha said that there was almost no food left, military management is chaotic and practically absent. Demoralization is colossal.
‘The Russians are giving up!’
The Ukrainian military selected a place for the soldier to surrender and used a drone fitted with a camera to make sure it wasn’t an ambush.
Special forces then detained Misha, who lay face-down on the with his hand up as he surrendered.
Mr Andrusiv added the Russian soldier will spend the remainder of the war as a prisoner in ‘comfortable conditions with a TV, phone, kitchen and shower’.
What is a T-72B3 main battle tank?
The T-72B3 main battle tank is a relatively new Russian upgrade of their old T-72B tanks.
Military experts saw it as a cheap way of adding new technology and weapons to the same old chassis of the T-72B, with each upgrade costing around £250,000.
Improvements include a new engine, gunner’s sight and fire control system.
The first T-72B3 tanks came into use in 2013 and by 2020 the Russian Army had 558 in its arsenal.
They were initially used in the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and later in Syria.
During the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has predominantly used T-72B3s and T-64s, which were created in the 1960s.
A T-72B3 main battle tank fires as troops took part in drills at the Kadamovskiy firing range in the Rostov region in southern Russia ahead of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
|Country of origin
||125 mm smoothbore
|Anti-tank guided missile
||9M119 Svir or 9M119M Refleks
||1 x 7.62 mm, 1 x 12.7 mm
|Length (including gun)
Source: Military Today