Russia has potentially lost up to half of all its operational tank fleet since the start of the Ukraine war, according to information collected by a monitoring group, as its military struggles to meet the goals of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
Oryx, an open source intelligence website, has been collecting visual evidence of military equipment losses in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on February 24, 2022.
The group said this week it has verified 1,000 distinct Russian tank losses in the war. It said a further 544 Russian tanks had been captured by Ukrainian forces, 79 damaged and 65 abandoned.
That toll does not include losses Oryx has not been able to visually confirm, said Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst who contributes to the Oryx blog. He estimated the actual toll could be nearer 2,000 tanks.
“Russia started the war with around 3,000 operational tanks … so there is a good chance that Russia has lost one half of (its) usable tanks” Janovsky said.
Tanks have been a major focus of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and are seen as key for either Russia or Ukraine to take territory on the battlefield.