The Instance Of A ‘Ukrainian Defector Absconding With A Tank And Defecting To Russia’

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The Instance Of A 'Ukrainian Defector Absconding With A Tank And Defecting To Russia'

Night vision footage reportedly captures the dramatic moment when a Ukrainian serviceman stole a T-64 tank and drove it across the frontline to defect to Russia.

Maxim Likhachev, 39, is now suspected of being a long-time Russian operative within the Ukrainian army, carrying out sabotage in support of Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Video footage shows the suspected traitor crossing the front line in the tank in occupied Donetsk.

“Likhachev came over to our side in the Donetsk direction on a stolen Ukrainian T-64 tank,” said pro-Russia military expert Daniil Bezsonov, a former official with the region’s breakaway puppet government. “He stole the tank because he thought it would be safer to get to our positions, where he was expected in advance by prior agreement. No one would shoot in the back, and to other Armed Forces officers in the forward positions, everything looked like an ordinary tank combat exit.”

As he approached Russian positions, Likhachev raised his tank gun high to identify himself. Initially treated with suspicion by Russian soldiers, he was forced to raise his hands, kneel, and prostrate himself on the ground to show he was not armed.

Likhachev had served for 18 months in the Ukrainian army, but suspicions are now that he was recruited by Russia prior to this, possibly during his time in Poland at the beginning of the war.

Officials believe Likhachev may have passed information on Ukrainian positions to Russia as he served in three separate brigades, all of which suffered heavy losses.

Bezsonov claims that the defector will reveal how Russia recruited him to its cause in the coming days. Likhachev was born in Svatovo in what is now the occupied Ukrainian region of Luhansk and had served in the 101st, 119th, and 59th brigades of the Ukrainian army.

This is not the first time a Ukrainian soldier has defected to join Putin’s forces. Former Lt-Col of the Ukrainian SBU, Vasily Prozorov, 48, defected to Russia “a few years ago” and is regarded as a traitor to his country.

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