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War in Ukraine – Russian losses of tanks and soldiers. British think tank and Ukrainian armed forces data

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The International Institute for Strategic Studies estimated that in the first nine months of the war in Ukraine, Russia lost almost 40 percent of its pre-invasion tank fleet, with the figure reaching 50 percent for more advanced tanks. The spokeswoman for the Defense Forces in southern Ukraine, Natalia Humeniuk, reported that in some units of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group fighting in Ukraine, losses reach almost 80 percent.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) presented its estimates of losses in the Russian tank fleet in “The Military Balance 2023”, an annual analysis of the world’s military balance of power and defense spending.

As indicated by the British think tank, as a result of losses and insufficient pace of production Russia is forced to reach warehouses more and more often for old tanks from the times of the Cold War. Meanwhile Ukraine although it also lost a large percentage of tanks, thanks to those received from allies and captured in combat, its total number of tanks is now even greater than before the Russian invasion.

Destroyed tank near DonetskOLEG PETRASYUK/PAP/EPA

The IISS estimated that the number of combat-ready Russian tanks, i.e. without those in storage, fell from about 3,800 to about 2,350, or 38 percent, with the T-72B3 and T-72B3M tanks, which are modernized versions, being particularly severely affected T-72. In this case, losses are estimated at as much as 50 percent of Russia’s pre-war possessions.

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According to IISS estimates, Ukraine lost no more than 700 tanks, but the number of tanks in its possession increased from 858 to 953, which is due to the fact that it captured about 500 tanks on the battlefield from Russian troops, and also received a significant number of old Soviet tanks from Poland, Czech and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Photo from February 14, 2023.

Children playing near a destroyed Russian tank Photo from February 14, 2023. PAP/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Still, as indicated, Russia has more than twice as many tanks, and this difference does not take into account the old tanks in Russian warehouses, the number of which is currently estimated at 5,000.

Ukrainian armed forces: in some branches of the Wagner Group, casualties reach 80 percent

The spokeswoman for the Defense Forces in southern Ukraine, Natalia Humeniuk, said that in some units of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group and units of the 2nd Army Corps fighting in Ukraine, losses amount to almost 80 percent. She indicated that the evacuation of the dead and wounded is limited or not carried out at all.

“Yes, it is hard for us. You can see for yourself what kind of war Russia is waging. But our military does not allow the enemy to achieve the set goals and causes very serious losses,” Humeniuk wrote on the Telegram communicator.

Graves of mercenaries of the Russian Wagner group in a cemetery near the village of Bakinskaya in the Krasnodar region of RussiaReuters/Forums

“As a result, among the personnel of the Russian occupation forces in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, there is a significant decrease in the level of confidence in the command’s decisions on the conduct of combat operations,” she continued.

She pointed out that “more and more Russian military personnel realize that their commanders inadequately assess the situation on the battlefield, as evidenced by the intensive use of the so-called suicide squads, i.e. units consisting of insufficiently prepared mobilized people who suffer large combat and sanitary losses every day” .

A mercenary of the Wagner Group buried in a cemetery in St. Petersburg. Footage from December 2022

Humeniuk reported that only one training center in the Rostov region sends about 500 mobilized Russians to war every week. Most of them undergo accelerated training lasting 14 to 21 days.

Such mobilized, not wanting to be sent to “suicide squads”, deliberately damage the combat equipment, mostly engines. Broken equipment returns to repair bases.

Main photo source: OLEG PETRASYUK/PAP/EPA



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