Russian authorities and businessmen offer bonuses to servicemen who destroy Western tanks in Ukraine

Archive – German Armed Forces Leopard 2A6 Tank – Ralf Hirschberger/dpa-Zentralbil

Russian authorities and businessmen have offered bonuses to servicemen who destroy tanks sent by Western governments in Ukraine, in a move implicitly backed by the Kremlin, which hopes it will serve to «inspire» troops on the ground.

One of the offers has been put forward by the governor of the Transbaikal region, Alexander Osipov, who has offered rewards of between 100,000 and three million rubles (between about 1,300 euros and more than 39,000) in exchange for the destruction or capture of a German or US-made tank, according to the TASS agency.

«We have already said that all such tanks will be burned, especially if there are such incentives,» Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media on Tuesday. In his opinion, the offers put forward in this regard «are a new sign of unity» in Russia, where «everyone wants to contribute, either directly or indirectly, to achieving the goals of the special military operation.»

Moscow has repeatedly threatened to destroy armored vehicles that Kiev may receive from partners such as Berlin or Washington, warning that such shipments may represent an escalation of the conflict.