Friday, April 25, 2003

Kuwaitis Didn't Complain

Few days ago, seventeen years following Chernobil disaster, Ukrainian government has declassified KGB documents containing the results of the confidential investigation. According to KGB officials, among the most contributing factors of the disaster was faulty equipment imported from former Yugoslavia. The documents specifically named two companies – "Energoinvest" from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and "Đuro Đaković" ("Djuro Djakovic") from Slavonski Brod, Croatia.

Immediately after the results of KGB inquiry had been published, current "Đuro Đaković" executives vehemently denied that Chernobil could in any way be attributed to their products.

In doing so they failed to mention another satisfied customers. "Đuro Đaković" was in this part of the world known mostly for their tractors. And like many other tractor factories, it also produced tanks. One of their late models, M-84, first (and last) original tank ever produced in former Yugoslavia, was exported to various countries. Its makers probably never imagined that their beloved tank would soon write many spectacular pages of military history.

Although it was extensively used in former Yugoslav wars, M-84 saw its most spectacular action before the dissolution of Yugoslavia. On the eve of Saddam's invasion, around dozen M-84s were sold to Kuwait. There they saw their first action and managed to retreat to Saudi Arabia. From there they took part in Desert Storm, destroying dozens of Iraqi T-72 tanks and other armoured vehicles while liberating their own country.


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