Videos appear to show Russia using vulnerable golf cart-style vehicles to transport its troops to attack Ukrainian positions

  • Videos appear to show Russia using vulnerable golf cart-style vehicles near the frontline in Ukraine.
  • The Chinese-made vehicles are typically used on farms and construction sites.

Russia appears to be using open-top golf cart-style vehicles near the frontline in Ukraine, possibly in response to suffering significant vehicle losses during the war.

One video appears to show a Russian armored column, which included several Desertcross 1000-3 all-terrain vehicles, attacking Ukrainian positions in Donetsk Oblast, Forbes reported.

The vehicles were being used to transport infantry to the frontline, per Forbes, and the video shows them being struck by shells and explosives dropped from drones.

The video ends with shots of the open-top vehicles lying wrecked in the mud.

Another video appears to show another similar vehicle being struck by an anti-tank mine, and other photos appear to show more of the all-terrain vehicles lying abandoned in a field.

Business Insider was not able to verify the videos.

Forbes reporter David Axe noted that the vehicles lack armor and weaponry and are typically seen on farms and construction sites, not on the battlefield.

“It’s reckless, if not insane, to deploy an open-top, unarmored all-terrain vehicle — in essence, a heavy-duty golf cart — in combat just a quarter mile from the front line,” Axe wrote.

Russia’s military purchased hundreds of the Chinese-made vehicles in December amid reports that the country was increasingly turning to Chinese suppliers for equipment following major losses.

At the time, local media published a video of President Vladimir Putin inspecting the off-road buggies, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told him that they were “extremely in demand.”

Despite China’s insistence that it is not selling military equipment to Russia, Ukraine’s allies have expressed concern about the sale of non-lethal goods that might be used on the battlefield.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last year that Russia was “dependent on willing third-country individuals and entities to resupply its military and perpetuate its heinous war against Ukraine.”

“We will not hesitate in holding them accountable,” she said.

The vehicle manufacturer, Chinese company Shandong Odes, would be vulnerable to retaliation from authorities in the US because of its high volume of sales in the country, the Financial Times noted in December.

The vehicles are popular in the US among farmers and power sports enthusiasts, according to the paper.

Since it launched its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has lost about 2,600 main battle tanks and 4,900 other armored vehicles, the UK Defense Ministry previously said in an intelligence update.

With the conflict now entering its third year, both Russia and Ukraine continue to grapple with personnel and equipment shortages.

Ukraine has urged its Western allies to maintain their support, as President Joe Biden’s request for additional military aid for Ukraine remains stalled in Congress.

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