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16 Jun, 2023 11:57

10,000+ Russian troops paid bonuses for destroying enemy hardware – MOD

Additional rewards for taking out German-made Leopard main battle tanks are in the pipeline, the Defense Ministry said
10,000+ Russian troops paid bonuses for destroying enemy hardware – MOD

More than 10,000 Russian troops have received bonuses for destroying or capturing major enemy weapon systems during the military operation against Ukraine, the Defense Ministry has revealed.

Russian soldiers have been paid between 50,000 and 300,000 rubles ($600 and $3,600) for personally taking out a tank, an artillery gun, a fighter jet, or other piece of military equipment, according to the statistics.

In 2022, 7,064 servicemen merited such remuneration for destroying a total of 11,586 pieces of Ukrainian military equipment. In the first five months of this year, the figures were 3,193 and 4,415, respectively, the ministry said.

The biggest payoffs went to airmen and air defense operators for shooting down enemy jets and helicopters, and to soldiers for destroying Tochka-U and HIMARS rocket launchers. Ukrainian naval drones, which have been used for attacks on Crimea, were valued by the military leadership at $2,400 apiece.

Half of that amount was paid out “for destroying each of the many hundreds of armor” belonging to Ukrainian forces, the statement said. The smallest bonuses were awarded for intercepting enemy rockets and some drones, as well as for taking out armored vehicles and artillery pieces.

The ministry is reviewing reports from the battlefield to decide on bonuses for destroying Leopard tanks and other NATO-produced hardware, it said. Kiev’s foreign backers have supplied dozens of pieces of such equipment in an attempt to strengthen Ukraine’s army ahead of its long-promised counteroffensive, which is now underway.

Some private Russian citizens have also offered bounties to frontline troops. In one recent example, entertainer Grigory Leps said he and several other like-minded people were pooling resources to pay out 1 million rubles ($13,000) for each Western tank destroyed by Russian soldiers.

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