Ukrainian Soldiers Capture Russian T-72 Tank, Call Customer Support When it Breaks

Captured T-72 MBT 6 photos
Photo: Reddit R/Ukrainian Conflict
In Vladimir Putin's ideal world, a proverbial sea of Russian T-72 main battle tanks (MBTs) would roll through the Ukrainian front lines and march uncontested through the streets of Kyiv like a Russian-spoken reenactment of the Fall of France in 1940. But as we all know, this is far from the reality of the situation. In our reality, which doesn't exist in the delusions of a Russian dictator, the hilarious fate of one captured T-72 provides a starkly comical story to a war that's been anything but funny.
A report first broken by Forbes details how one group of Ukranian soldiers decided to dial a Russian tech support helpline when a captured T-72B3 variant went on the fritz. This being the most modern and advanced variant of the Soviet-era T-72, it's a story the Kremlin would certainly like to keep out of news headlines in Western countries. It's not quite clear where Ukrainian troops captured this prized Russian main battle tank. However, it would make sense if the tank was acquired close to the bulk of front-line fighting in Ukrainian cities like Bakhmut or Robotyne.

Whatever the case, the story goes that once one of Russia's most valuable armored vehicle assets of the war was under the control of Ukrainian officers, the tank soon after broke down, leaving the personnel inside stranded and without an idea of how to repair it. In a move of master-grade trolling that'd humble the average Twitter user, one Ukrainian officer, callsign " Kochevnik," made a call to what can only be presumed is the official support helpdesk for Uralvagonzavod, the makers of not just the T-72, but also the T-80, the T-90, and Russia's newest and most controversial main battle tank, the T-14 Armata, to try and gather information on how to get the tank running correctly again.

"I am the commander of an armor group, and the problem is we simply cannot operate it," Kochevnik remarked to the person on the other end of the phone line that day. Complaints of the tank's engine spewing oil and faulty compressors bedeviled the presumably totally clueless Uralvagonzavod employee answering that call. Ostensibly, this helpdesk employee was blissfully unaware that the man at the other end of the call was a high-ranking officer of the army this T-72 tank was supposed to be fighting against.

By the second half of the video, Kochevnik was able to speak with a Uralvagonzavod director named Andrey Abakumov. In a move that was like the Russo-Ukrainian War's equivalent of asking to speak to the manager, it made for a remarkable, light-hearted, and entertaining video that proved even in the brutal crucible of modern warfare, there's always time for a bit of comedy.
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