KYIV – A Ukrainian man filmed himself offering a group of Russian soldiers a tow back to Russia after their tank ran out of fuel on the side of the road, video circulating on social media purportedly shows, an American multinational media, Fox News reported.
The footage of a recent viral video showing Ukrainians bravely confronting Russian troops shows the driver pulling up alongside the motionless military vehicle and asking several soldiers from his open window if they had broken down.
“Can I tow you back… to Russia,” the Ukrainian man asked the soldiers in Russian after they told him they were out of gas.
According to social media translations, he then tells the soldiers they are on their way to Kyiv after they fail to tell him where they are supposed to be going.
The soldiers laughed when asked where they were going, with one saying they didn’t know and another saying they were going to Kyiv.
Asked by the soldiers for news on the invasion, he tells them that Ukraine is winning the war while Moscow’s troops are good at surrendering because “they also do not know where they are going”.
As a parting shot, the Ukrainian claims to have asked “the whole column” of Russian vehicles advancing towards the capital but that “no one knows where they are and where they are going”. The footage shows him driving past yet another stationary tank within 30 seconds.
Fox News has not independently verified the video but has confirmed the accuracy of the subtitles in the video and that the man was speaking Russian with a Ukrainian accent. It is unclear when the exchange took place.
Meanwhile, British media The Independent was unable to determine the source of the footage, but the two tanks appear to be a Soviet amphibious MT-LB vehicle and a Russian T-72B3 battle tank, both of which are being used by Moscow in the conflict.
The footage was shared widely by journalists, including a BBC disinformation reporter, and government officials, including Estonia’s former chief of defence, Riho Terras, who said: “Does this look like a force that is prepared to fight an extended conflict?”
“They have no fuel, no motivation, they do not even know where they are supposed to go. A surreal exchange to be honest, but it shows how unprepared these first waves of Russian invasion have been.”
“Nevertheless, our takeaway from this must not be that Ukrainian victory is granted. It is not, we are in the first days of the conflict and desperation can drive Putin to heinous actions. Yet, great to see that more and more Western countries are sending arms to Ukrainians.”
Scott Gehlbach, a University of Chicago political economist who specialises in Russia and Ukraine, suggested there was “lots of evidence that Russia botched the logistics of its military operation”, writing on Twitter: “But I think this video illustrates another problem for Putin: a failure to prepare Russia’s population, including its soldiers, for war.”
He added: “Russia may be able to compensate for an absence of fighting spirit through sheer numbers. But the lack of preparation—logistical and ideological—will imply greater casualties, military and civilian.”
It is not the only report of Moscow tanks running out of fuel as Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Russia’s sovereign neighbour enters its third day, with a UK government minister among those suggesting the Kremlin’s plan “is nowhere near running to schedule” amid strong Ukrainian resistance.
A Ukrainian military Facebook account claimed on Friday that Russian troops stopped near Konotop, north east of Kyiv, had “a problem with fuel and supplies”, alleging that some invading soldiers were walking around with gas canisters “trying to buy fuel” and others were “demanding food from the local population” while businesses had been looted.
“The main armoured columns approaching Kyiv are still some way off. That is a testament to the incredible resistance the Ukrainian armoured forces have put up over the last 48 hours or so,” UK armed forces minister James Heappey told Sky News on Saturday.
“Clearly the Russian plan is to take Kyiv but the reality is that the Ukrainians are thwarting them thus far. It looks like the Russian plan is nowhere near running to schedule.