According to The Moscow Times, a Russian firm called Fores is offering $71,000 in cash as a bounty for the destruction or capture of Western tanks, which according to the firm is driven by a patriotic desire to support the national army.
A Russian company has offered a reward for their destruction just days after the US and Germany approved the delivery of heavy main battle tanks to Ukraine, including future deployments of the cutting-edge Abrams M1 and Leopard tanks.
“A Russian company has offered a cash bounty of up to 5 million rubles ($71,648) for the destruction or capture of Western-made tanks recently promised to Ukraine by its European and American allies,” according to regional media reports.
Given that the Yekaterinburg-based company Fores stipulated the $70,000+ reward for whoever destroys or captures the first western tank, with a payout of 500,000 rubles ($7,164) for each subsequent tank, it appears that the race will be on for Russian troops (or mercenaries, in the case of Wagner Group).
According to Fores, it is driven by a patriotic desire to back the national army:
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“The decision to transfer western tanks to Kyiv indicates that NATO is no longer supplying Ukraine with defensive weapons only and means that we need to consolidate and support our army,” Fores said in a statement.
It comes after the Kremlin claimed that American tanks would “burn” and ultimately have no impact on Ukraine’s chances of winning a conflict.
“I am certain that many experts understand the absurdity of this idea. The plan is disastrous in terms of technology,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last Wednesday. “But above all, it overestimates the potential it will add to the Ukrainian army. These tanks burn just like all the others.”
We wonder how large a “bounty” Russian firms will provide for airplanes given that the Ukrainian government is already purportedly engaged in “fast-track” negotiations with Western sponsors to purchase combat jets like the US F-16.