Following repeated requests for additional military aid to help push back Russian offensives, Ukrainian officials are now begging Canada not to saddle them with the financial, logistical, and mechanical burdens of maintaining the barely-functioning tank fleet.
“When we made a request to the Canadian government for tanks, we definitely did not mean their tanks,” said Ukrainian Military Chief General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.
“We were kind of hoping it would be more like the missile defence system where they would just buy us some sweet brand new tanks from the US and pick up the tab. We didn’t even know Canada had their own tanks to give,” added Zaluzhnyi.
“Much like the Russian’s fleet of soviet-era tanks, these Canadian tanks are old and have been neglected to the point of being inoperable,” says Queens University Military Historian Ian Jenkins. “In the heat of battle a Ukrainian conscript could easily mistake a broken Canadian tank for a broken Russian tank and fire on a friendly target by mistake.”
“I hope they have a good vacuum because those things still have sand in them from Kandahar,” said one Canadian soldier who spoke on condition of anonymity. “You know how when you get back from a trip and you just leave your suitcase in the corner for months instead of properly unpacking it and doing your laundry? That, but with a half-billion dollar fleet of literal tanks.”
Some defects with the tanks noted by Ukrainian officials included a tank with an Anne Murray 8-track stuck in the dash, a tank whose main gun was permanently jammed with an Irving Big Stop hotdog, several tanks which had been unsuccessfully converted to solar to quality for the carbon tax credit, a tank that had been painted bright red for a Canada 150 event and never painted back, and one tank that was just a zamboni with a Ross Rifle duct-taped to the side.
“I know Canada originally bought them from Germany, but I didn’t know they meant East Germany,” said one member of the Ukrainian delegation. “We really appreciate the offer but these are the roughest looking things I’ve ever seen, and I live in a war zone.”
“The instructions on the instrument panels are all in a form of French that even the Ukrainian soldiers from France can’t seem to understand, and then all the English translations are spelled with random “u”’s everywhere which is really confusing for our soldiers that speak English,” stated a Ukrainian Defence Attache.
The Canadian Forces have declined to officially comment on the matter, referring inquiries to the Ministry of Defence, but did put out a press release asking the government for double-ply toilet paper in the bases, if that wasn’t too much trouble.