Social media users have been critcising the West for sending Leopard 2 tanks after videos purport the military vehicles are not adapted to Ukrainian terrain.
As Ukrainian soldiers wrap up their training on Leopard 2 tanks in Germany and Spain before using them on the battlefield, there’s been lots of misleading social media posts about the delivery of these vehicles.
One claim that's been widely shared is that these newly arrived Leopard 2 tanks were quickly captured by the Russian army after getting stuck in Ukrainian mud.
Many criticised the West on Twitter claiming these tanks aren’t suitable for Ukrainian terrain. "Money well spent", said one Twitter account sarcastically.
"Leopard 2 tanks that Zelenskyy begged for don't like mud," commented another person. As a reminder, a number of European countries have started to send the German-made tanks to Ukraine, after Berlin reluctantly approved the transfer of the powerful battle vehicles to Kyiv back in January 2023.
Outdated and unrelated to Ukraine
The Cube, Euronews's fact-checking team, decided to take a closer look at these posts.
After doing a reverse image search using a screen capture from the video, The Cube found the original video on Instagram.
It was posted in April 2022 -- long before the West even agreed to send Leopard 2s to Ukraine.
It was posted Wartofta Tank Company, which is part of Skaraborgs Regiment of the Swedish Armed Forces. The team's primary goal is to train soldiers in ground combat locally and internationally.
The post’s translated caption reads: “Sometimes things don't go as planned, being heavy is not always an advantage. Last week, the company was down in Skåne [region in Sweden] and we practiced, and we gained valuable experience in assessing terrain.”
AFP was able to geolocate the site in which the video was shot and found it was filmed in Slivakra, a village in southern Sweden located about 35 kilometers away from the city of Malmö.
But are the tanks in the video Leopard 2s? We found that these are STRV-122 or Stridsvagn 122. They are similar to the Leopard 2 tanks because they’re based on the German model but adapted to Sweden's needs.