Ukraine Soldier Talks Tank Battle Against Father Who Served for Russia

A Ukrainian soldier has revealed details of a purported battlefield encounter with his own father, who was serving in the Russian Army as a tank operator.

A video clip shared to X, formerly Twitter by the account WarTranslated on Wednesday shows a 19-year-old soldier named “Oleksandr” describing the encounter with his father as he was commanding a U.S.-made M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle.

Oleksandr, who spent half of his childhood in Russia, said that he received a call from his Russian father not long after Ukraine launched its 2023 counteroffensive. Oleksandr, who described his father as a “nobody” whom he had not seen since childhood, rejected a plea to join the Russian Army.

A destroyed Russian tank is pictured in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on March 1, 2023. A recent Ukrainian media report featured a young Ukrainian soldier who revealed details of a purported battlefield encounter with his father,…


“His father joined the Russian Army as a tank man and was sent to hold off [the] advance of Ukrainian Bradleys,” a narrator from Ukraine’s TSN says during the video, according to WarTranslated. “The ones that his son was commanding.”

Oleksandr said that the “son vs. father” battle began when a tank, apparently operated by his father, fired a shell into the side of the Bradley he was commanding, causing minor damage. His father later told him over the phone that he stopped firing when he realized who was in the vehicle.

“He was like, ‘son, once I knew it was you, I stopped firing!'” Oleksandr said. “I was like, ‘so what?’ When we were leaving, something kept coming at us.”

Oleksandr’s father was later purportedly killed in a Ukrainian attack on his tank that was aided by first-person-view (FPV) drones.

“[His] tank burned down,” said Oleksandr. “They said that apparently he died … He burned in the tank. Our FPVs were finishing it off, so he just burned in it. Oh well, that was his fate.”

Oleksandr is reportedly still commanding a Bradley in defense of Avdiivka. He is “considered one of the most experienced Bradley crewmen” despite his young age, according to TSN. Newsweek was unable to confirm the fate of his father, or additional details about his identify.

Newsweek reached out for comment to the Russian Ministry of Defense via email on Wednesday night.

While additional details of Oleksandr’s identity were also unavailable, the U.S.-donated Bradleys are used exclusively by Ukraine’s 47th Mechanized Brigade, with the vehicles having been highly effective in battling tanks since going into service last summer.

Russia has suffered a massive loss of tanks over the course of the nearly two-year war. As of Tuesday, the Ukrainian military claims that Moscow has lost 6,365 tanks and over 11,850 armored personnel vehicles.

Newsweek has not independently verified any of Ukraine’s claims concerning Russian military losses. Neither Ukraine nor Russia release their own equipment loss figures, although some experts have suggested that the Ukrainian estimate may be close to the actual number.