Kiev has reportedly lost one-fifth of the ten Stridsvagn 122s it had received from the Nordic nation
A point-of-view online video purportedly shows Russian drone strikes on a Swedish variant of the German Leopard 2A5 main battle tank, the Stridsvagn 122. Ukraine was given ten of them and has reportedly lost at least two.
The footage shows two separate attacks on a stranded tank in the same location, both using a quadcopter kamikaze drone called the VT-40. The video was published on Thursday by a Telegram channel promoting the UAV.
Swedish media reported last week that its government had delivered ten Stridsvagn 122 tanks to the Ukrainian military, delivering on a commitment announced in February. The batch accounts for roughly 10% of the country's tank fleet.
The "best tank in the world, according to Discovery Channel," as Swedes like to point out, has heavier armor than the original German model, along with other features. Ukrainian crews were trained to operate them.
Two other videos that emerged online last Friday indicated that Ukrainian troops had abandoned at least two of the Swedish armored vehicles, exposing them to Russian drone attacks.
One of the short clips depicted the same location as the video circulating online now. The poster misidentified the tanks as Leopard 2s and reported they were hit by Lancet kamikaze drones somewhere near Svatovo, a frontline city in the Lugansk People's Republic that has seen heavy fighting during Kiev's summer counteroffensive.
Neither video showed troops near the Swedish tanks nor offered any clue as to how they were disabled. In both cases, the tanks' reinforced hatches can be seen open, implying that the crew had evacuated.
The US and its allies provided hundreds of heavy weapons to Ukraine to bolster its push against Russia, but Kiev has largely failed to seize territory in the past four months.
Moscow has accused the West of waging a proxy war against Russia and using Ukrainians as "cannon fodder." Kiev has lost an estimated 2,700 pieces of heavy weaponry and over 17,000 troops this month alone, the Russian Defense Ministry reported earlier this week.