The amazing story of the Russian tank and the little car
If you've been watching TV or scrolling through the internet since the Russian assault against Ukraine began, you've probably seen an appalling video showing a huge Russian tank swerve abruptly to drive over a small civilian car. It's an act of viciousness that highlights the depravity of Russian troops. Except that's not what happened. In fact, the Russian tank was swerving to avoid enemy fire or friendly fire, or because he was lost. Most amazingly, the driver survived the experience, at least long enough to be taken to a hospital.
You can watch the narrative unfold in a series of tweets (hat tip: RedState). The first video is the one we've all watched over and over as it's played in the background on the various cable news channels:
Za sve one koji ne žele da vide šta Putin radi u Ukrajini.— Balša Božović (@Balshone) February 25, 2022
Ruski narod ne stoji iza ovoga. Ovo je Putinov lični rat.
Na obraz medjunarodnoj zajednici koja ovo nemo posmatra.#Ukraine pic.twitter.com/aqfhpMuX9A
According to Google translate, the Serbian text is intended to show an atrocity in wartime:
For those who don't want to see what Putin is doing in Ukraine.
The Russian people are not behind this. This is Putin's personal war.
On the cheek of an international community that is silently watching this.
Further footage revealed, though, that the Russian tank was not attacking the small car. Instead, it appears that the tank driver had gotten separated from his convoy and was driving through a civilian neighborhood. He was either fired upon or got distracted, causing him to run over the car:
#BREAKING: Unbelievable! Footage shows #Ukraine & #Russia Army soldiers fighting each other in #Obolon district of #Kiev/#Kyiv. This is why driver of that 9K35 Strela-10 mobile short-range surface-to-air missile system got distracted & collided with a civilian car! https://t.co/k991BPHNWM pic.twitter.com/FsIROztv8P— Babak Taghvaee - Μπάπακ Τακβαίε - بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) February 25, 2022
The amazing thing is that the car's driver survived. People who saw the crash were able to rescue him and get him to the hospital:
And just to show even more how the fog of war confuses everything and how, truly, the first casualty of war is truth, the soldiers driving the tank were apparently Russian special forces disguised as Ukrainian soldiers:
#BREAKING: The soldiers who were killed by #Ukrainian Army in #Obolon & also driver of that Sterla-10 SAM system were from #Spetsnaz (#Russian Army Special Forces) dressed as Ukrainian Army soldiers. It wasn't a friendly fire. I have seen uncensored version of this footage. pic.twitter.com/JC0P6DFpK5— Babak Taghvaee - Μπάπακ Τακβαίε - بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) February 25, 2022
Churchill said, "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." In other words, he controlled the narrative. We now live in an age in which events hit the airwaves within minutes and from myriad sources. This means that there is a huge battle to control the narrative.
Currently, the dominant narrative (and, I think, the correct one) is that Putin is the undoubted aggressor against an innocent civilian population. What he's doing is genuinely evil, as well as something that can easily destroy the status quo around the world. (Let's just say China and Iran are watching closely.)
Having said that, it pays to be incredibly rigorous about accepting as true any news emerging from the combat zone that Ukraine has become. Apparently, Babak Taghvaee, who posted the above videos, is reliable, but it still behooves us to wait at least a few hours before accepting any reports as true.