Mr. Tolik Got Lost: Full Story of the Turtle Tank Captured on Ukrainian War Front

Mr. Tolik Got Lost: Full Story of the Turtle Tank Captured on Ukrainian War Front

Turns out, the overprotected russian battle tank got lost and then claimed by medics of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The details of this episode also confirm the function of this kind of protection

A few days ago, Ukrainian forces captured a russian main battle tank with improvised protection, colloquially known as "turtle tanks," or "tank sheds" locally. It became the first time Ukrainians had seized such equipment, despite this kind of additional armor rapidly gaining popularity among the russian invasion forces operating in Ukraine. Now more details of that day were revealed by the Ukrainian side, which actually explains quite a lot.

The key role here belonged to two combat medics of the 244th Battalion of the 112th Territorial Defense Brigade, and an M113 armored vehicle crew from the 5th Assault Brigade who were helping the medic team. The events of the viral video took place on June 17th near Klishchiivka village in eastern Ukraine, the 112th Brigade tells in a Facebook post. The driver of the russian MBT noticed a Ukrainian armored personnel carrier and decided to tag along thinking it was allies.

Read more: Ukraine Captures First Turtle Tank Along With the Crew

The crew of M113 was surprised to see an enemy tank chasing them and headed to a nearby windbreak to hide from a potential tank shot behind the trees.

"The tank came all the way to the windbreak, and the mechan (the mechanic-driver - ed. Defense Express) stepped out to ask, which way was Klishchiivka. That's when from the M113, combat medics of the 244th Battalion, [call signs] 'Toyota' and 'Mokryi' disembarked, they took the mechanic-driver of the 'tank shed', named Tolik, prisoner," the post reads, showing Tolik himself accompanied by Ukrainian servicemen.

On a separate note, the post mentions that the gun of the russian turtle tanks was not in working order, that's why it was used as an armored personnel carrier, effectively. As for the reason why it got lost, Defense Express presumes it was the obstructed view from the vehicle due to all that additional armor which makes it difficult for the driver to orient himself in the unknown territory.

Besides, although not explicitly stated, the footage suggests it happened at dusk, so the driver didn't recognize it was an M113, not a russian BTR or BMP. Though the question of how an entire tank, even with incapacitated gun, got through the first line of defense and got lost near the relatively rear positions, remains open.

On our part, we can remind that the russian invasion forces actively use the "turtle tanks" with improvised anti-drone protection, made of simple materials available at arm's length. Based on observations, the purpose seems to be to secure the delivery of infantry assault groups to the enemy positions they need to take control of, and then bring them back to the safety of the allied trenches. There have been recorded instances of mass attacks of such turtle tanks.

Read more: ​Mass Attack of russian Tank-Sheds Gone Wrong