Ukraine says it destroyed a Russian mortar carrier after a pro-Kremlin journalist accidentally exposed its location
Matthew Loh – May 23, 2022
- A pro-Kremlin journalist’s report exposed the location of a Russian mortar carrier, Ukraine said.
- Ukrainian forces later destroyed the vehicle and thanked the Russian reporter “for the tip.”
- Russian journalist Alexander Kots rejected the suggestion that his coverage compromised the vehicle.
A pro-Kremlin journalist’s report on the military capabilities of a Russian mortar carrier inadvertently exposed the vehicle’s location to Ukrainian forces and led to its destruction, Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communication said.
“Thank you to Russian propagandists for the tip,” StratCom UA tweeted on Sunday, along with a video that appeared to show the mortar carrier being blown up.
The Ukrainian government agency said its forces had lured the vehicle out of its position before it was destroyed.
StratCom UA also said on Facebook that this was the first time this class of mortar carrier — the SAU 2C4 “Tyulpan” — had been taken out in the war.
However, the Russian journalist who made the initial report, Alexander “Sasha” Kots, has rejected the idea that his video coverage led to the artillery vehicle’s destruction.
“Let’s observe informational hygiene and ignore such literary defecations, covering our noses in disgust,” Kots wrote on his Telegram channel in response to the Ukrainian claims.
Kots wrote that Ukraine’s footage of the “Tyulpan” getting destroyed shows a different area from where he and his crew filmed the vehicle, and that the mortar carrier had left the location before his team departed.
His report featured clips of a “Tyulpan” firing rounds near the Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk in the Donbas region. Kots wrote in his caption that Ukrainian forces were being “hammered” by the mortar carrier, and said in his video that it was being used by Russian-backed separatists to destroy a bridge.
Kots works for the Russian outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda, which often repeats the Kremlin’s war rhetoric — such as the baseless claim that Ukraine’s leadership has been infiltrated by Nazis scheming against Russia.