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Ukrainian Soldier Calls Russian Tank Manufacturer for Tech Support

The Ukrainian soldier who goes by the callsign “Kochevnik.” Militarnyi Videonews / YouTube

A Ukrainian soldier who captured a Russian T-72 tank with mechanical problems filmed himself calling the tank's manufacturer in Russia for technical support.

The soldier, who goes by the callsign “Kochevnik,” called two people said to be senior figures at the Uralvagonzavod tank manufactory in Nizhny Tagil, as shown in a video published by the Telegram channel Ukrainian Militant.

“[The tank] can’t go into battle, it breaks down constantly,” Kochevnik said during one of the calls.

He listed spewing oil, faulty compressors and failing electrical turret-rotation mechanisms as some of the issues plaguing the T-72.

“It’s impossible to wage war on it,” Kochevnik complained. 

The two people on the other line — identified as Uralvagonzavod branch director Alexander Saponkov and the plant’s acting deputy general director Andrei Abakumov — could be heard promising to address the problems.

Kochevnik later revealed to the men that he was a Ukrainian soldier, saying his unit had captured the Russian tank during the liberation of Izyum in eastern Ukraine last fall.

Ukrainian forces are estimated to have captured 200 T-72B3 tanks from Russia over the course of the 19-month war. 

Uralvagonzavod, one of Russia’s largest defense contractors, has been under U.S. sanctions since 2014.

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