Anyone who has watched footage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or spends time reading media reports on it, will have seen destroyed Russian tanks. Burnt out orc tanks have become synonymous with Putin’s not so special operation. For me, not a day goes by without viewing several videos on Twitter showing Russian tanks getting whacked in all sorts of spectacular ways. And, when you consider today marks the 353rd day of that full-scale invasion, I’ve probably seen several thousand Russian tanks and armoured vehicles getting destroyed, damaged and abandoned.

A Ukrainian girl checks out the inside of a Russian tank.

So, it’s unsurprising to learn, Russia’s lost up to half of its operational tanks since the start of its February 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Oryx, an open source intelligence website, has collected visual evidence of military equipment losses in Ukraine.

This week, the group said it has verified 1,000 distinct Russian tank losses in the war. And reported a further 544 Russian tanks had been captured by Ukrainian forces, with 79 damaged and 65 abandoned. However, they say the real figure may be as high as 2,000. Russia is said to have started the war with around 3,000 operational tanks, so losses of between 1,000 to 2,000 is devastatingly bad.

A combination of outdated Russian tactics, modern accurate and longer ranged anti-tank weapons, and the wholesale use of old poorly armoured and equipped tanks, has contributed to Russian tanks becoming death traps for their crews. Time and again, Russian armour attempts to advance without infantry, artillery or air support – and time and again (as seen below) they get ruthlessly picked off one by one.

A link to a CNN article on this. And a link to the Oryx article – By clicking on the numbers, you get a picture of each individual captured or destroyed tank and other armoured vehicles.


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