A Russian soldier who destroyed a German Panther tank in combat in Ukraine has received a reward of 1 million rubles ($11,842) from a private foundation, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
It released a video showing the soldier, Andrei Kravtsov, sitting on a hospital bed and receiving a medal from three-time Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling champion Alexander Karelin.
The ministry did not say when or where Kravtsov destroyed the tank, or the treatment he received in hospital. In the video, he appears to be missing his right hand.
Russia says its forces have destroyed some German-made Leopard tanks and a U.S.-supplied Bradley since the Ukrainian counteroffensive earlier this month. Reuters could not independently verify the figures involved.
The Russian Defense Ministry said last week that since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation,” individual bonuses have been awarded to more than 10,000 Russian service members for destroying or capturing Ukrainian or Western-supplied hardware. It is said that the price of a tank is 100,000 rubles, and the price of an aircraft is 300,000 rubles.
“In addition to what the state is doing, these are very good additional payments for those who have caused significant damage to the enemy,” Karelin told Kravtsov when handing over his private bonus certificate.
The bonus was paid out of a fund set up by a group of private entrepreneurs, an example of how some Russian businesses have found ways to publicly demonstrate their loyalty to the Kremlin’s military campaign in Ukraine.