MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Ukraine upgraded its tanks under NATO standards, as evidenced by the armor seized by the Russian armed forces near Chernigov, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday.
"The Russian troops seized combat, fully operational T-64 tanks that were abandoned by the Ukrainian armed forces in the outskirts of Chernigov and are now being examined by Russian military specialists. As compared to baseline combat vehicles, these tanks are outfitted with night vision thermal imagers and observation instruments as well as with NATO-standard communications and navigation devices," the ministry specified.
The armor with its full ammunition load was hurriedly abandoned by the Ukrainian armed forces as the Russian troops approached, the ministry specified.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics, he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.