Video shows old Russian tank with a ridiculously tall 'cope cage' defense on top

Video shows old Russian tank with a ridiculously tall 'cope cage' defense on top
A tank with a large structure on top, posted by the Russian Telegram channel "Let's Help the Front." It did not give a date or location.Pomozhem Fronty/Telegram
  • A strange video from the war in Ukraine showed a modified old tank.
  • The footage seemed to show a T-54 or T-55 with a huge "cope cage" on top.

A recent video shows a weird moment from the fighting in Ukraine — a Russian tank with an enormous example of a so-called "cope cage" on top.

The footage was posted to X on September 29 by the account OSINTtechnical, a page run by a person affiliated with the Center for Naval Analyses.

Insider couldn't verify or locate the footage itself. Per the OSINTtechnical post, it shows a T-54 or T-55, which were first developed into 1945 and have been obsolete for decades.

The tank is marked with the Z symbol associated with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On top is a flimsy wooden structure that roughly doubled the tank's height. It was covered with dried grass, perhaps as camouflage.


The apparent source of the post — a Russian channel called "Let's Help the Front" gave the clip the apparently sarcastic caption "maskirovka," the Russian term for its doctrine of military deception.

OSINTtechnical called the attachment a "cope cage" — a mocking nickname for structures but around tanks in the hope they could protect against drones, missiles, or other anti-tank weapons.

Cope cages have generally been dismissed as ineffective, and probably wouldn't help against common anti-tank weapons like the Javelin or NLAWs, the CEO of the risk-intelligence firm Sibylline told Insider in 2022.

"They give them psychological protection against weapons, but actually, they do very little," said Justin Crump, the CEO.

Ubiquitous videos of burning tanks with "cope cages" still attached suggest that the analysis is correct.


Despite its age, it wouldn't be totally surprising to see a Russian T-54/55 tank is getting rolled out on the frontline.

Russia has been known to pull out old tanks from storage to shore up its inventory after heavy infantry losses in the Ukraine war.

A recent report by the respected Royal United Services Institute suggested that Russia's old tanks were still proving useful in some scenarios.

Per its analysts, the tanks would be no good in a direct confrontation with newer tanks, but can still work providing indirect fire like an artillery gun.