MOSCOW, (Reuters) – The Kremlin welcomed a Russian company’s offer of “bounty payments” for soldiers who destroy Western-made tanks on the battlefield in Ukraine, saying it would spur Russian forces to victory.
The Russian company Fores this week offered 5 million roubles ($72,000) in cash to the first soldiers who destroy or capture U.S.-made Abrams or German Leopard 2 tanks in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian troops would “burn” any Western tanks that were delivered to Ukraine, adding the bounties were extra encouragement for Russian soldiers.
“This testifies to the unity and the desire of everybody to contribute as best they can, one way or another, directly or indirectly, to achieving the goals of the special military operation,” Peskov told reporters.
“As for these tanks, we have already said they will burn. With such incentives, I think there will be even more enthusiasts.”
The Western-made tanks – far more advanced than anything used by Ukraine or Russia in the conflict so far – are unlikely to arrive at the frontlines in eastern and southern Ukraine for several months.
Photo: A still image taken from a handout video provided by the Russian Defence Ministry’s press service a Russian serviceman firing a man-portable anti-tank guided missile ‘Kornet’ during fights at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. EPA-EFE/RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY