Russian propagandists have attempted to pass off footage circulating on social media of a Russian T-90M tank being blown up in the war in Ukraine as an Israeli Merkava tank being destroyed by Hamas militants.
The footage appeared on Telegram over the weekend, at the same time as Hamas militants were attacking Israel from the Gaza Strip. The ongoing violence there has killed about 900 people in Israel and more than 600 in Gaza, according to the Associated Press.
The video was shared by Russian Telegram channels on Sunday, including by VGTRK war correspondent Andrey Rudenko, who has over 270,000 subscribers.
“Hamas is burning the “best” tanks in the world one by one,” Rudenko wrote.
In response, Ukrainian journalist Yurii Butusov said on Monday on his Telegram channel that Russian propagandists were attempting to present the video footage of a Russian T-90M tank being blown up as an Israeli Merkava being destroyed by Hamas.
He published screenshots of the posts in which he said Russian propagandists had shared the video. A number of news outlets, including the independent investigative Russian publication The Insider, have reported that the tank in the footage is a Russian T-90M in Ukraine.
The Israel Defense Forces have used the Merkava Mk.4 Main Battle Tank since 2004.
The Dutch open-source outlet Oryx said that since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022, Russia has lost at least 7,362 tanks, of which 6,542 were destroyed, 132 were damaged, 138 were abandoned and 550 were captured.
Meanwhile, figures published by Ukraine’s General Staff on Facebook on Tuesday claimed that six Russian tanks were destroyed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total Russian tank losses since the war began last year to 4,829. Independent sources give numbers that are more conservative than Kyiv’s, and Russia doesn’t publish figures on its military losses.
Ukraine often releases drone footage showing the destruction of Russian military equipment and vehicles, including tanks.
A brigade with the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces published a video in August that purportedly showed the moment a Russian T-90 tank was destroyed in a drone strike after falling off a cliff in Ukraine.
About Trophy APS
The first is the Trophy, (also known as Aspro A), developed by Rafael. After extensive technical qualification and operational testing, the Trophy system was approved for production and became an integral part of the Merkava 4, it is now included in every tank rolling off the production line, making the Israeli tank the first Armored Fighting Vehicle in the world to field an operational APS as standard equipment.
Rafael’s Trophy employs a network of four radar sensors covering a 360 hemisphere around the protected tank. The radar is integrated with the platform’s battle management system through the system’s processor, providing instantaneous detection of a threat immediately when firing a missile or projectile at the tank. Laser warning could precede the radar detection, if the tank is equipped with a Laser Detection System (LDS).
The kill mechanism used by the Trophy utilizes Multiple Explosively Formed Projectiles (MEFP). Mounted on an aimable pedestal, this module is pointed at the direction of the incoming threat and explodes, sending an ultra-fast sheath of melted fragments destroying the threat. This hard-kill countermeasure is effective against all types of Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM), Anti-Tank Rockets or High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) projectiles.
The APS is considered the only effective countermeasure against warheads containing tandem warheads, designed to penetrate reactive armor systems. Relying on a highly directional explosive for both propulsion and kill mechanism, the Trophy APS delivers response time and kill probability significantly higher than other systems. The Trophy system can simultaneously engage multiple threats arriving from different directions and is effective on stationary or moving platforms.
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