Fender Bender Russian Style Leaves Four Cars Smashed Between Two BTR-80 Armored Vehicles
This is why everyone in the country has a dash cam.
Absolutely no one likes getting in a fender bender for any reason whether you're responsible for it or not. But recently, in Russia, where everyone seems to have a dash cam for good reason, four motorists found themselves in a particularly bad situation when what might've been a minor accident left them all sandwiched in between two 15-ton BTR-80 armored personnel carriers.
Video from a dash cam and a passerby on their cellphone appeared online after the accident occurred in the city of Kursk in Western Russia on Feb. 27, 2019. Exactly what happened isn't entirely clear.
The dash cam clip comes from the first car to be caught in the incident and the footage begins with them sitting a red light at intersection. Two BTR-80s turn onto the street before the light turns green and the car drives up behind them. Additional BTR-80s, a BRDM-2, and various trucks are seen driving in the opposite direction.
At a certain point the car and the BTR-80 in front of it come to a stop. The vehicle commander appears to be having a "lively" conversation with his crew before the armored personnel carrier starts to back up.
The driver in the car honks and becomes audibly irate as the vehicle commander walks along the rear deck and begins trying to signal some sort of movement. It's not clear if he's trying to indicate that the BTR-80 is looking to turn around and join the convoy moving in the other direction or if he's trying to tell the driver in the car to move. Then the vehicle commander begins making his way back to the front of the armored vehicle as it keeps reversing and finally slams into the car.
But this isn't over. The vehicle commander walks back to see what happened, appears to tell off the driver in the car for not backing up, and then calmly walks back to the front and sits down before the BTR-80 continues reversing until the hood of the car gives way and rolls up. Both vehicles have come to a stop before the video ends.
The separate clip a person in a passing vehicle took after the accident shows why. The only thing that finally brought everything to a halt was three other cars getting caught up in the accident and ending up wedged into another BTR-80 behind them. They've all suffered various levels of damage from getting smashed between two 15-ton armored vehicles.
Now, military vehicles, including all sorts of armored vehicles and other oversized types are hardly uncommon on Russian roads. The day before this accident in Kursk, a number of transporter-erector-launchers for the RS-24 Yars nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile – which may well have been carrying live missiles at the time – got stuck in bad traffic on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road like anyone else heading home from work.
You also see many more of these clips, and other crazy happenings on the road, online from Russia due to the proliferation of dash cams in the country, which has more to do with the worrisome state of drivers in Russia and unscrupulous police. "You can get into your car without your pants on, but never get into a car without a dash cam," Aleksei Dozorov, a Russian activist working to expose corruption among traffic cops, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in 2012.
It's not the first time this kind of accident has apparently happened, either. Rob Lee, a PhD student at The Department of War Studies at King's College in London, who was among those to spot the clips of the Kursk incident found footage of a similar incident where a BTR-80 had crushed a UAZ-452 ambulance in between it and another truck.
There's another clip showing a BMD-2 tracked airborne infantry fighting vehicle going sliding out of control and slamming into someone's SUV before driving away. The vehicle commander in that case seems to wave in their direction as if to say "whoops!"
If anything is clear from these accidents, if you intend on driving on Russian roads, Dozorov's advice holds just as true now as it did six years ago. You might not have to wear pants to drive in Russia, but having a dash cam is a must. How else will you have video evidence when you go looking for a reimbursement from the Ministry of Defense for the damage some conscript driving an armored personnel carrier did to your car?
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org