Soviet tank deployed to fight coronavirus

By Rafi Mauro-Benady

A new weapon has been enrolled in the fight against the coronavirus – and nobody would mind if it commits war crimes against the enemy in the heat of battle.

A landmark Soviet-built T-34 tank has been painted in NHS livery to raise the morale of passers-by in Mandela Way, off the Old Kent Road.

The weapon of death was repainted as a way of saying “tank-you” to thousands of front line health workers in hospitals who are saving lives amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Its new colours have sparked conversations among everyone who has passed by.

Jamie Ryan, of East Dulwich, said: “It’s funny to see a tank on a residential road, and It’s great that something that was designed to kill people being used to support an organisation that saves lives.”

Millionaire property developer Russell Gray owns the tank, which is known locally as ‘Stompie’.

It’s been repainted many times over the years – sometimes with his permission, sometimes without.

So far it has had resprays in the bright primary colours of the Bauhaus movement, in zebra stripes, and in gold.

Mr Gray said: “It’s sometimes painted by guerrilla graffiti artists.”

He conceded the NHS painting was also done without his consent.

Stompie was first put on the site in Mandela Road, Southwark, as a protest against a decision by Southwark council which refused him permission to build a block of flats there.


Please support your local paper by making a donation



Cheques should be made payable to “MSI Media Limited” and sent by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.

So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online. Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Get the latest local news delivered every week!

For information on having our paper delivered to your door click here or to join our emailing list click here and we’ll send you an email every time we publish our latest e-edition”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *