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15 Jun, 2023 17:05

Pop legend offers $13,000 for each destroyed Western tank 

Grigory Leps and several other artists said they hoped their colleagues would join the initiative to support Russian troops 
Pop legend offers $13,000 for each destroyed Western tank 

A group of Russian pop stars has offered a bounty to the country’s servicemen for the destruction or capture of Western-supplied military hardware in Ukraine. Since Kiev’s Western backers announced plans to deliver tanks earlier this year, a number of Russian businessmen and officials have promised similar payments.   

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Wednesday, the leader of the band ‘Zemlyane’ (The Earthlings), Vladimir Kiselev, came forward with an initiative to remunerate Russian troops to the tune of 1 million rubles ($13,000) for each Western-made tank taken off the battlefield.     

Russian singers Grigory Leps and Nikolay Baskov backed the idea, with the former saying: “We do our own thing as we see fit, they do theirs.”    

Leps also vowed to continue “helping our fighters as long as the ground holds us.”    

Baskov explained that he and his fellow musicians support the Russian military not only through their songs but also via other means.      

“I hope that a huge number of our colleagues will join” their initiative, the singer added.     

In February of this year, the Pavel Sudoplatov Battalion, an international volunteer unit created in the part of Zaporozhye Region held by Russia, offered to “pay 12 million rubles [$170,000] for each serviceable captured Leopard, Abrams, or Challenger tank.”     

Several weeks prior, the governor of Zabaikalsky Region in eastern Russia, Alexander Osipov, announced that any local service member who managed to seize a Leopard tank “in working condition” could earn 3 million rubles ($42,909). A bounty of 1 million rubles ($14,303) would be paid to anyone who destroyed one of these German tanks, the official stated.      

Around the same time, the Russian chemical manufacturer Fores came out with a similar initiative.     

Commenting on such proposals, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in February that they were proof of the “unity and the desire of all” to contribute to achieving the goals of Russia’s ongoing military campaign.