Russia’s New ‘War Trophy’, Swedish CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Leaves Russian Military Unimpressed

A casualty in its ongoing counteroffensive against Russia, Ukraine lost the first of its advanced Swedish CV9040C Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) near Kreminna in Luhansk to Russian rocket fire. Russia collected the vehicle as a war trophy.

Subsequently, photos and videos posted on social media showed some Russian troops standing in front of the car, indicating that it had been seized and was being investigated for technological espionage and reverse engineering.

However, it has now been revealed that the Russians seem unimpressed by this formidable war machine. The Russian military has expressed skepticism over the capabilities of a Swedish CV90-tracked armored vehicle, which could be seen in a video published on August 4, almost a week after the vehicle was captured.

The dismissive remarks made about the Swedish IFV can be heard in a video that the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMoD) published to document the visit by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to a command post involved in the Ukrainian operation.

The trophy was displayed to the official by Andrey Mordviche, Commander of the Center Group of the Russian Armed Forces.

“The group commander presented Sergei Shoigu with one of the many armored vehicles captured in battle from the enemy, particularly the Swedish CV-90 infantry fighting vehicle,” the ministry said.

Mordvichev said the vehicle, manufactured in Sweden and used since 1993, resembles a tank. However, he mocked that a “simple and cheap” Russian RPG-7, a shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenade launcher that has been in use since the 1960s, was used to take down the one that the Russian troops managed to seize.

“The vehicle was stopped with the tool of our grandfathers,” the commander said. Mordvichev informed the minister that although the supplied armor lacked field repair equipment and spare components, it did carry an emergency stop kit. However, he highlighted that this made it almost impossible to carry out its operational repairs in combat.

In addition, the Russian official noted that the CV90’s main armament has a relatively sluggish rate of fire because of its reloading mechanism. It has three magazines of eight rounds, after which it requires reloading, which could take an entire minute of precious time lost in combat.

Although Mordvichev acknowledged that the CV90 was equipped with various cartridges, he claimed the total number was relatively small.

Besides the CV90, Russia has captured several other military vehicles from Ukraine, including the American Bradley, which Russian engineers have reportedly studied.

Ukraine’s Swedish-made CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle captured by Russia

In addition, the Swedish armored vehicles delivered to Ukraine do not have a guided weapon system, and due to their high silhouette, they have low survivability. These military vehicles were criticized as being too tall, which made them an easy target for enemy fire.

Since the RuMoD released the video, it has gone viral, triggering an intriguing debate between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian military bloggers. An independent OSINT analyst on social media ‘X’ site mocked a Russian officer using a “broom handle to poke the captured CV90 just like the “Unknown technology meme.”

Swedish CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

With its exceptional capabilities, the CV90 has proven its mettle in various high-end operations, including in battlegrounds like Afghanistan. The vehicle has garnered world-class popularity owing to its cutting-edge features, like its sturdy, fully welded steel armor hull, which provides excellent protection for its crew and passengers, which is the design’s foundation.

The vehicle is believed to withstand 14.5mm armor-piercing bullets thanks to this armored shell, and newer variants are supposedly able to withstand 30mm APFSDS ammunition. The 37-ton vehicle, also known as the Stridsforon 90, is regarded as one of the best IFVs in the world. It possesses a 40mm Bofors L70 main cannon and can transport nine soldiers onto the battlefield.

Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, confirmed the IFV’s arrival on July 8 with a photo of six CV90s arranged in a compact staging area with the crew atop them. Over 20 days later, the vehicle was captured by the Russian troops.

The video surfaced on social media in late July and showed two CV90 IFVs, one of which was targeted and seen rolling down along a tree line. In the video, widely shared on the internet, the CV90 seen in the front was struck by the RPG 50 from 100 feet away, causing it to veer off-road.

However, the one behind was seen coming to a halt after a close shave from being nearly hit by a rocket that landed on the ground just ahead of it. The crew and passengers of the damaged CV90 managed to bail out of the vehicle.

“They deliberately waited for two CV90s in a specific place and ambushed them,” said the post on the Telegram channel of RIA Novosti military correspondents Alexander Kharchenko and Sergey Shilov.

The vehicle was captured as the Russian army had begun a small-scale attack on the Ukrainian counteroffensive west of Russian-occupied Kreminna. It was believed to be a well-coordinated effort to thwart the Ukrainian army’s larger counteroffensive farther south at Bakhmut and in southern Ukraine’s Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson Oblasts.

Although acclaimed as the best in its league, the capture and subsequent criticism of the Swedish IFV has cast a shadow on the capability of a popular Western military vehicle. The Ukrainians, however, continue to dismiss it as mere propaganda.