Ukraine’s foreign tank saga ground ahead last month with reports Germany approved the delivery of 100-150 Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine starting most likely in March and then in batches through Spring and Summer.

The long-awaited by Kyiv announcement will place for the first time place a NATO-standard tank massively outclassing any Russian tank that might oppose them - excepting the rare but fielded T-90 tank and the probably vaporware T-14 Armata and Terminator tanks – in the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s (AFU).

could be interesting for you:

Which begs the questions, how many tanks does Russia actually have, how many are likely to be deployed to Ukraine and particularly, after a year of fighting a very capable AFU, how many tanks does Russia actually have left in Ukraine?

Advertisement

Military analysts and armchair generals watching the conflict generally agreed in February 2022 that Russia had about 3,300 main battle tanks of late Cold War or early 2000s vintage assigned to combat units, and somewhere between 8,000 and 10,000 in storage.

The Dutch military analytical group Oryx as of Jan. 30 estimates Russia has lost at least 1,661 tanks to all causes. The actual numbers are certain to be higher because Oryx uses only independently-confirmed information, usually open source photographs of a destroyed or captured Russian tank, to register a loss.

Ukraine’s Army General Staff (AGS) per its Jan. 30 morning situation estimate reported AFU units have to date claimed they knocked out, destroyed or captured 3,601 Russian main battle tanks since the start of the war – literally more tanks than the entire active duty Russian army had operational at the start of 2022. The actual number of Russian tank losses in Ukraine is a Kremlin military secret, as is Russian industry’s capacity to replace them.

London Insider: The Complexities of Supporting Ukraine in a Divided World
Other Topics of Interest

London Insider: The Complexities of Supporting Ukraine in a Divided World

The “United for Ukraine” event in London was a powerful blend of cultural celebration and international solidarity. Yet beneath the surface of unity, complex geopolitical tensions reveal divisions.

Russian state-controlled media as recently as December claimed Moscow will soon field the T-14 Armata tanks to fill the gaps, but the reports of Armatas going to Ukraine were hooted down by independent military analysts and Russia supporters alike.

Advertisement

On Jan. 13 Ukrainian military news platforms reported the first capture of a T-90S -  Russia’s most modern confirmed operational tank and a weapon heavily promoted for export markets - in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. Russia reportedly had 200 T-90 tanks with its own units at the start of the war, and was fulfilling a contract to send components to India for the manufacture of about 1,000 more. According to Oryx, by end of January the AFU had destroyed or captured 45 Russian army T-90s.

Most military analysts estimate Russia might be able to manufacture 20-30 modern, T-90 grade tanks month - as long as the Kremlin manages to source of sanctioned foreign-manufactured components like thermal sights for the vehicles.

A Russian reserve tank model whose deployment to Ukraine has been confirmed - the T-62 – is an obsolete vehicle developed in the mid-20th century, and in recent years upgraded by the Russian arms industry with a view for export to African states.  

The first T-62 tanks heading towards the war were spotted and widely reported by Ukrainian military intelligence and social media in late May 2022. According to Oryx, the AFU has since then written at least 63 T-62 tanks off Russian arm equipment balances.

Advertisement

Commitment of obsolete T-62 tanks – and absence of serious numbers of more modern ones - to battle in Ukraine is strong evidence that of the 10,000 tanks in reserve the Kremlin supposedly had in reserve, many if not most are too dilapidated to be useful for anything except as a source of scrap metal, a May 27 British military intelligence situation estimate said.

Additionally, Russia has lost at least 175 T-80 tanks of various types.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Comments (6)

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Jefferson  John Jules III
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

So Ukraine is spewing numbers that can't be confirmed, iryx us posting pictures if Ukrainian tanks and saying they're Russian because they think we can't tell the difference in ERA beyond the spray paint, and destroyed equipment seems to vanish, show up in other places and be photographed again. Either oryx is being paid or just prone to ukr disinformation, but confirmed Russian tank losses stand just just under 1000. Nobody seems to be clear about it, mossad leak said 800+, some independent journalists put it around 11-1200 or so. Even us defense doesn't have 1600 so far. Either way, both oryx and Ukraine have some fudged information.

As for production, peacetime tank production is one thing. The Russian mod has stated that they'd boost tank production, and such information has been confirmed, but how many is unclear. It's going to be more than peacetime production though.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Keith Kinkel
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Why is it that the Russians, who started this war are allowed to bomb factories power stations etc. and the Ukrainians not. Maybe if they had the capability of destroying Tank and Military equipment Factories in Russia this would stop this aggression by this Demon Putin.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Just a human
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

russia is losing, world should send more support to stop these bastards faster

Gazza
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Just a human,

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Seth
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Russia has over 12,000 Tanks in storage and over 2 million trained Reservists. (Russia practices Manditory Universal Conscription) Having won 3 of 4 Victories so far (5 Liberated Oblasts +No Ukraine in NATO) With Finland and Sweden both losing NATO Applications.... Ukraine cannot find anyone to operate equipment and has begun drafting men over 55. Another year of this and Ukraine will be decimated.

Sasky
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Seth,

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Sasky
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Seth, this is rubbish and ruzzian propaganda. If ruzzia had 2 mil. trained reservists, why would they mobilize people from the streets? Finland and Sweden are joining NATO very soon. Western arms flowing to UA daily (see some air transport info). Ruzzian loss is just matter of time. Western tanks (Leo2) are far better than the ruzzian ones, long-range rockets (150 km) will push ruzzian munition depots further from the line of contact and disabling effective logistics. Western industry took time to increase production (arty ammo, javelins etc.), but this year production will be multiplied (ruzzia don't have the possibility). And from those 12k tanks in storage - how many are operational? 1000 - 2000? Others canibalized or so old that can be destroyed by the "machine gun". Ruzzia don't have ANY chance to win.

Joe
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@Sasky, "ruzzia" lol your bias is on full display. What the original poster said is 100% accurate.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Load More Replies
https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
L. Martin
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

In satellite photos you can see where they are pulling 60 year old equipment out of outside storage. If they have to cannibalize 2 tanks to have one operational tank that's still a lot of firepower. But 50 year old ammunition is scary. Along with 60 year old gun barrels that have gone through numerous freezing and thawing cycles. Then there is quickly formed tank crews. Lack of supporting infantry. Antiquated battle doctrine... I suspect Russia will keep at it until Putin is gone or there is nothing left to fight with.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png
Benny
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Surely the Russians will struggle replacing the tank crews rather than the tanks, they would not have sent raw recruits into battle in the first assaults and will have lost a lot of their best crews, the next assaults will surely be with new recruits that have been hurredly trained over the winter and probably won't want to be there.

https://www.kyivpost.com/assets/images/author.png