And the latest dash-cam video making the rounds only adds to the perception that Russian streets are, indeed, a battleground.
The video was shot in the central Russian city of Nizhny Tagil and shows a typically busy street with cars traveling in both directions. That is, until a massive Russian tank blasts through a snowbank and crosses the road at high speed, just a few meters in front of other cars, before disappearing stage left.
What appears, at first, to be some sort of tank hijacking caught on video turns out to be much more prosaic. Nizhny Tagil is the home of Uralvagonzavod, the largest main battle-tank factory in the world.
The press service for the factory tells Russia's NTV that the tank did not violate any traffic codes. Indeed, the car from which the video is shot can be seen to have stopped at a red light, while the cars ahead appear to have ignored the traffic signal.
Uralvagonzavod said the appearance of a tank should come as no surprise, as a special road for the vehicles intersects the highway at precisely this point.
Judging by the video, however, the special tank road has no posted speed limit.
-- Grant Podelco & Tom Balmforth