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Russian forces destroy first donated Leopard 2A4 tank in Ukraine

According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on June 8, 2023, the first Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank donated to Ukraine by European countries was destroyed by the Russian Forces during the recent Ukrainian offensive near the city of Novopokrovka, Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
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Russian forces have destroyed the first leopard 2A4 donated by European countries to the Ukrainian army. (Picture source Russian MoD video footage)

According to information published on the Russian Social Network VK on June 5, 2023, the Ukrainian armed forces have started offensive operations near the city of Novodonetsk and the direction of Velikonovoselovka. For the first time, the Ukrainian army will have deployed the Leopard 2A4 tanks to fight Russian troops.

Citing information released by the Russian Ministry of Defense, Ukraine had attacked on Sunday, June 4, 2023, morning with six mechanized and two tank battalions in southern Donetsk. "On the morning of June 4, the enemy launched a large-scale offensive in five sectors of the front in the South Donetsk direction," the defense ministry said in a statement posted on Telegram at 1:30 a.m. Moscow time (2230 GMT).

According to a Tweet published by Maria Avdeeva on June 5, 2023, at 04:52 PM, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have launched counter-offensive ops in some areas. Advancing on highlands around Bakhmut, hitting Russian military bases in occupied territories, and looking for weak spots in Russian defense.

The editorial team of Army Recognition announced on June 1, 2023, that Ukraine has taken delivery of approximately 60 Leopard 2 tanks from its allies. As per the records released on April 28, 2023, European nations had earmarked 54 Leopard 2A4 tanks to be supplied from countries including Canada, Denmark, Norway, Poland, and Spain. Additionally, Germany was set to provide 18 Leopard 2A6 tanks. Sweden was contributing with 10 Stridsvagn 122 units, which are a Swedish variant of the German Leopard 2A5.

The Leopard 2A4, developed by Krauss-Maffei in the late 1970s, is a German main battle tank used by multiple nations today. This sophisticated tank offers several advantages over the T-64 and T-72 Soviet main battle tanks, which were introduced in the 1960s and 1970s respectively, and currently form a crucial part of the Ukrainian army's arsenal.

One significant advantage of the Leopard 2A4 is its advanced armor protection, widely considered superior to both the T-64 and T-72. This results in improved survivability on the battlefield, a crucial factor in any armed conflict.

Another area where the Leopard 2A4 excels is in its firepower. Its 120mm smoothbore gun is renowned for its high accuracy and effective range, surpassing the performance of the 125mm smoothbore guns of the T-64 and T-72.

Furthermore, the Leopard 2A4's sighting and fire control systems also surpass those of the older Soviet tanks. It employs more advanced technology, providing better target acquisition, tracking, and engagement capabilities, even in challenging conditions. This substantially boosts the tank's overall combat effectiveness.

Last but not least, the Leopard 2A4's powertrain offers robust performance with a greater power-to-weight ratio compared to the Soviet tanks. This translates into better mobility and acceleration, which could prove decisive in maneuver warfare.

However, it is important to note that tanks do not operate in isolation. Their effectiveness depends on numerous factors including the terrain, tactics used, quality of crews, logistical support, and many others. Therefore, the overall performance of the tanks in a theoretical conflict would depend on the specific circumstances.

Russian forces destroy first donated Leopard 2A4 tank in Ukraine 925 002
Ukrainian army Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank. (Picture source WM Blood)

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