There Is No Evidence that the Russians Destroyed the Tanks that Macedonia Donated to Ukraine
There is no evidence that the Russian army in Kherson destroyed exactly the vehicles that North Macedonia donated. Truthmeter asked Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska if they were talking about the same vehicles, and she answered: “It is hard for anyone to know if these were exactly ours. It is almost impossible. We do not have such type of tanks, Ukraine and other countries on the eastern flank have them too”
We are reviewing a post published on the social network Facebook, in which a media article is shared and it is claimed that in Kherson, the Russians destroyed the tanks that our country donated to Ukraine. The entire post has only one Telegram channel as its source, which is called Militarist. The text says that the Russian army destroyed BTR-70 military vehicles in Kherson.
Tonight in Kherson the Russians destroyed the tanks that Macedonia donated to Ukraine, reads the headline.
However, there is no evidence that the Russian army in Kherson destroyed the vehicles that North Macedonia donated. Minister of Defense Slavjanka Petrovska, when asked if these are the same vehicles that N. Macedonia sent to Ukraine, answered:
It is hard for anyone to know if these were exactly ours. It is almost impossible. We do not have such type of tanks, Ukraine and other countries on the eastern flank have them too.
The article creates confusion and reinforces the impression of untruthfulness. While “tanks” are mentioned in the title, the text talks about BTR 70 armored carriers. In addition, it remains unclear what the news means – whether the T72 tanks were destroyed, the same that N. Macedonia sent to Ukraine, or it is about the destruction of BTR70 armored carriers. If we are talking about the firefighters, then it has nothing to do with our country because there is no information that we have sent such armored transporters, especially not even 50. The explanation for sending the tanks from the Macedonian side was that they did not fit into the combat needs of our army (see below), but this does not apply to the armored carriers either.
Moreover, BTR 70 is an eight-wheeled armored personnel carrier originally developed by the Soviet Union in the late sixties under the production code GAZ 4905. On August 21, 1972, it was accepted into Soviet service and a little later became the subject of wide export. Large quantities of this vehicle were also produced under license in Romania, known as the TAV 77.
In addition, it is impossible to know exactly where in Ukraine the Macedonian donations were delivered. This means that it cannot be said that they were received exactly in the Kherson battle group. Only the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense knows where it distributed these vehicles, and this is not revealed.
On August 3, 2022, the Macedonian Ministry of Defense sent a message to Moscow regarding state-donated tanks for Ukraine. The decision to send Macedonian tanks to Ukraine as a donation met with sharp reactions from Moscow.
From the very beginning, North Macedonia condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and stood in support of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and, above all, in support of peace, human rights and international order. So far, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia has adopted several decisions on military-technical assistance to help Ukraine defend its territorial integrity, which is threatened by military intervention, the Ministry of Defense said at the time, adding that the country, as a member of NATO, firmly stands behind the position and the determination of the Alliance to be the guarantor of the peace and security of its member countries and to protect the values, freedom and security of present and future generations.
The Ministry of Defense indicated that the country had given Ukraine third-generation tanks, which were previously purchased from Ukraine during the 2001 conflict. By government decision, the country donated military equipment to Ukraine several times in accordance with Ukrainian requirements and needs, and in coordination with the allies. It was also announced that the tank battalion in Macedonia would be disbanded and that light armored wheeled vehicles would be procured in accordance with the agreement with the US government started in 2019.
Due to all the above facts, we assess that there is no evidence that the Russians destroyed the tanks that Macedonia donated to Ukraine. It is not at all possible to know where they are distributed, and the source of the article is only a Telegram channel. As for the BTR-70 armored personnel carriers, there is no information as to whether such vehicles have been delivered to Ukraine.
Note: For further clarification, new information has been added to the review to highlight the difference between T72 tanks, which are mentioned in the title of the reviewed content, and BTR70 armored personnel carriers, which are mentioned in the text of the same source. (Truthmeter editorial office)