Photo: Screenshot of part of the post
On Sunday, the 24th of September, the German Ministry of Defense denied the information published by Russian state media that, allegedly, a German Leopard tank was destroyed along with the Bundeswehr crew in the military zone in Ukraine. Apart from that, it is general knowledge that Western countries are careful about sending their staff to Ukraine along with military aid because long-term training is organized for Ukrainian troops before taking over the equipment and weaponry
The driver of the damaged tank a number of times claimed that he was not a mercenary, but a Bundeswehr soldier and that the entire team was one unit, added the soldier.
The headline says that the Russians destroyed a Leopard tank with a German crew that arrived in Ukraine. In addition, the post is sharing an alleged statement from an anonymous source with an alleged code name “Legend”.
When we stopped another suicide attack and destroyed the Leopard, we headed for the burning equipment hoping to catch somebody. We realized that the tank driver was severely wounded while the rest were dead. The mechanic, once he woke up and saw us, started to shout “don’t shoot”. The driver of the damaged tank repeatedly claimed that he was not a mercenary, but a Bundeswehr soldier and that the entire team was one unit, stated for “Sputnik” the reconnaissance group commander operating in the Zaporizhzhia region under the code name “Legend”.
Furthermore, the article says that the German soldier died after previously explaining that he was very sorry for coming to Ukraine. And – yet again – the source is “Legend”.
The text ends with an appeal by the commander of the reconnaissance group – who is not named – directed toward “Western instructors to think twice before going to battle with the Russians”.
Let them think for themselves, for their children, for their wives, before fighting against the Russians, said the intelligence оfficer to the Western instructors.
The article is based on anonymous sources and it claims that the Leopard tank was stopped and that members of a Bundeswehr unit were found there.
However, as reported by Deutsche Welle, in a telephone interview for the medium on Sunday, the 24th of September, the German Defense Ministry denied the information published by the Russian state media that, allegedly, a German tank Leopard was destroyed along with the Bundeswehr crew in a military zone in Ukraine.
“There are no German tank crews in Ukraine”, stated the Ministry representative for Deutsche Welle.
After that, this media outlet gives the background of the story, thereby conveying the contents published by the Russian media on 23rd September. The source of this information was a commander of a reconnaissance group operating in the Zaporizhzhia region. As published by the Russian public media, someone who knew the German language very well, claimed that the entire crew of the destroyed tank Leopard was killed, while the severely wounded driver, having spotted the Russian soldiers, started to shout out not to shoot. It was exactly him that, allegedly, said that he was a Bundeswehr officer and that the entire crew of the tank was from the same place, and that he had died due to loss of blood later on.
As published on the website of the German Defense Ministry, Germany supports Ukraine by providing weapons and equipment from the Bundeswehr supplies as well as industry supplies which is funded through a special program, enabling people from the field to take responsibility for their own security. Currently, as part of this program, Germany supplied Ukraine with 20 Leopard 1А5 and 18 Leopard 2А6 tanks.
Apart from that, general knowledge is the fact that Western countries, especially Germany, are careful not to mix their troops as part of the military aid provided, because that could serve as an excuse for getting them involved in the war, including NATO. For that particular reason, several months-long training sessions for representatives of the Ukrainian Army were organized before assigning the aid.
In the same article, Deutsche Welle reminds the readers of its own article dated 18th September this year, citing the research of three independent Russian media regarding the connections of the PR company ANO Dialogue with the Russian Government to manage online information in favor of Kremlin and the Defense Ministry. The contract with the Government was worth RUB 9 billion, states the story that published the research.
Due to all of the above-noted facts, the fact-checked post is assessed as untrue. The Ukrainian medium Pravda has informed about similar cases.