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Putin presents Hero of Russia medals to ‘Alyosha’ T-80 tank crew in Kursk Region

Russian President pointed our that the awards will be presented to Lieutenant Alexander Levakov and Corporals Filipp Evseyev and Alexey Neustroyev

KURSK REGION, August 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin presented state award to the crew of the ‘Alyosha’ T-80 tank, which destroyed a Ukrainian armored convoy on the Zaporozhye direction. The servicemen received the Gold Stars of Heroes of the Russian Federation personally from the president, who arrived to the Kursk Region on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Battel of Kursk.

"Dedication to the Homeland, dedication to the military oath unite all participants of the special military operation. Today, awards will be presented to the most distinguished servicemen of the 5th Army’s 127th Motor Rifle Division," the president said.

He pointed our that the awards will be presented to Lieutenant Alexander Levakov and Corporals Filipp Evseyev and Alexey Neustroyev.

"This well-coordinated tank crew engaged a superior enemy force and did what seemed to be impossible - not only emerged victorious, but also saved their brothers-in-arms from a destroyed tank," the president said.

Putin also awarded Senior Lieutenant Rasim Baksikov, who acted courageously during tense fight and displayed personal courage and heroism. The president also presented the Medal of Honor to corporal Ilya Gavrilov, who detected the enemy and precisely corrected artillery fire via efficient use of his drone.

"His efficient communication with the tank crew made it possible to complete the difficult combat mission," Putin noted.

The feat of the ‘Alyosha’

Previously, video footage of the Russian T-80 tank single-handedly destroying several Ukrainian vehicles emerged on social media.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the tank crew under the command of Senior Lieutenant Rasim Baksikov came under massive artillery fire, in which the driver was wounded. The crew commander evacuated the wounded serviceman from the vehicle and did first aid. Having transferred the driver to the forward medical unit, Baksikov decided to stand in for him in the battle.

"Lieutenant Alexander Levakov, having assessed the situation, decided to replace the wounded crew member and took the tank commander's workplace and moved in the direction of the positions of Russian motorized rifle regiment to provide support to the defenders. On the approach to one of the settlements, Lieutenant Levakov detected eight enemy vehicles, including two tanks, in one of the nearby wooded areas," the Defense Ministry said.

Baksikov engaged with overwhelming enemy forces.

"Thanks to skillful control of the combat vehicle and competent use of the terrain conditions for stealthy movement, the Russian tank's entry into the firing line was unexpected for the enemy. Rasim Baksikov, at the driver's seat, skillfully maneuvered on the battlefield and directed the work of the crew. Lieutenant Alexander Levakov, in the commander’s position, promptly and competently relayed target guidance to the gunner and directed the tank’s fire," the ministry said.

The crew destroyed two enemy T-72B tanks with accurate fire. In the next 30 minutes, one M113 armored personnel carrier and five US-manufactured MaxxPro armored personnel carriers, together with the troops.

"When the combat vehicle ran out of ammunition, crew commander Rasim Baksikov decided to go to reload, and another tank was sent to the battle site," the ministry said.

Having fired three shots at the advancing infantry, the second Russian tank was hit with enemy artillery fire. After realizing that the crew of the damaged vehicle needed help, Senior Lieutenant Rasim Baksikov and his crew decided to evacuate the damaged tank from the line of contact to a safe place.

"The towing of the tank was carried out under incessant enemy fire. Thanks to the resolute actions of the servicemen, the crew of the tank was rescued. During the battle, the enemy losses, apart from destroyed hardware, were up to 100 fighters killed and wounded," the Defense Ministry concluded.