In December 1994, Russia assembled 60,000 troops around Grozny.

38,000 soldiers and a third of them entered the Chechen capital directly. On the enemy side, the Chechen rebels totaled about 2,300 troops. Some Western data sources claim that the Russian opponent had no more than 5,000 fighter men.

It seemed that this unequal battle would end quickly with a natural victory belonging to Russia. However, in fact, although the victory belonged to the Russians, this was not a successful battle. According to Russian statistics, after the battle ended 1,400 to 2,000 Russian soldiers were killed, and about 500 were missing, and 4,670 were injured.

Chechnya battle field
Chechnya battle field

However, the loss of the Russian tank force is something worth mentioning. A total of 62 Russian main battle tanks were destroyed, along with 163 other armored vehicles were destroyed after rolling into Grozny.

This damage was beyond the imagination of even the most pessimistic Russians, especially the Russian generals – who grew up under the Soviet Union with immortal pride in Moscow’s tank power. Russian Pride was seriously damaged. The war in Grozny was a war in an urban environment – where Russian tanks and armored vehicles became amateurs for enemy guerrilla tactics.

In the urban combat environment, the tanks were particularly vulnerable to rooftop hits. Even Russian armored vehicles and tanks could not counterattack against the enemy because the firepower equipped on the vehicles could not rise up at a too great angle to attack the roof of a building.

The Russian Infantry, accompanied by the main battle tank, was also vulnerable, due to the enemy being at a high point with a wide field of view. Russian troops on the ground fell into an impossible position in combat. Urban guerrilla tactics helped Chechen rebels inflict devastating blows on Russian forces. In the end, their resistance was defeated, but the price that the Russians had to pay was too high.


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