Russia’s armored forces have suffered significant losses in Ukraine, however, Moscow still has a huge stockpile from the Soviet era, which could be unleashed at any time.
According to the Turkish site ORYX, based on photos and videos of the battlefield, the Russian army has lost a large number of tanks, armor and artillery, estimated to have exceeded 6,000 units.
Before the conflict broke out, the Russian army had a total of 2,480 tanks in combat service. The ORYX site claims that the Russian military has lost more than half of its active tanks in this conflict. Therefore, with the current destruction rate, if the war lasts for another year, Russia’s armored forces will fall into a serious shortage. So is this good news for Ukraine? Can the Ukrainian military put its hopes on the shortage of Russian tanks to turn the tide?
Although the Russian military lost a large number of tanks and armored vehicles during the conflict, Russia still has a large stockpile of weapons and ammunition left behind by the Soviet Union, and their huge defense factories are still continuing to produce new weapons. The above factors will be enough to ensure that the Russian army can continue to fight for a long time without worrying about running out of tanks as the West calculates.
The Russian army has about 6,000-10,000 tanks in reserve. Russia has recently restored the 71st and 72nd Armored Repair Plants dating back to the Soviet era, and kept working 24 hours a day in three shifts. Russia has also ordered 400 new T-90M tanks, which are being produced at the Ural Tank Plant. In May, August and October, the Ural Plant supplied the Russian army with new tanks.
What about the Ukrainian side? Now, the Ukrainian army may indeed have run out of tanks. The number of Ukrainian tanks is only 1,200. As for the tanks of Soviet origin in Eastern European countries, they have been handed over to Ukraine. Currently, no country in Eastern Europe has more than 100 T-72 tanks.
Remember in 1992 when the Soviet Union was dissolved, Ukraine had more than 4,000 tanks, of which 2,000 were still in combat service, including 660 T-64BV tanks, more than 100 T-64BM tanks, and T-72, T-80BV and T-84 tanks. Before the war, the Ukrainian Army operated more than 800 tanks and stockpiled 1,200 tanks. The Russian military claims to have destroyed more than 6,000 Ukrainian tanks, armored vehicles and artillery. According to calculations 1/6 of them are tanks, so the Ukrainian Army has lost 50% of its tank force, and they can only rely on aid from the West. At this time, the Ukrainian Army will become a light armored force consisting of Humvees, pickup trucks and armored vehicles. The question is whether the US and Germany will supply Ukraine with main battle tanks like the M1A1 and Leopard 2, or even the outdated Leopard 1 and M60 tanks? If the US and NATO want Ukraine to have a high-intensity counterattack, they will support M1 tanks, even M1A2. If the US wants Ukraine and Russia to maintain the current tug of war, it will help Ukraine maintain the war of attrition on the battlefield. Depending on the intentions of the West, aid weapons will also change in quality and quantity.