Foreign News

How Russian Tanks Captured by Ukraine Are Helping the Fight Against Putin

The Evangelist edition
October 9, 2022

Online reports say that Russian tanks captured by Ukraine are being used against Vladimir Putin’s own forces.

Ukrainian officials may continue to push the West to provide more military hardware but their efforts in the battlefield have been helped in no small part by the contribution of Russia.

Accounts abound of Russians simply abandoning military vehicles, as well as other armored vehicles, howitzers and ammunition, during their retreat from Kharkiv last month.

British defense officials said this week that during the war, Kyiv’s forces had captured at least 400 main battle tanks (MBTs) from the Russians, as well as 650 other armored vehicles. These can be repurposed and used against Russian forces.

This chimes with the figures from the website Oryx, an open-source outlet that tracks military-equipment usage and losses, which as of Saturday said 453 Russian tanks had been captured by Ukrainian forces.

Zev Faintuch, senior intelligence analyst with security firm Global Guardian, which has intelligence groups on the ground in Ukraine, said Kyiv’s forces had also destroyed around 700 Russian MBTs—meaning Putin had lost around 40 percent of his forces’ tanks.

He said that before the war, Ukraine had around 850 MBTs but has lost 300 which have been destroyed, captured, abandoned or badly damaged since Russia invaded.

“With simple back of the napkin math, you can determine that Ukraine has more tanks now than it did in early February,” Faintuch told Newsweek.

“The captured Russian tanks have, in fact, improved the quality of Ukraine’s armored corps,” he said. “Ukraine’s pre-war stock of tanks was mostly comprised of modified second-generation tanks.”

However, tanks abandoned on the battlefield are not necessarily instantly ready to be put back to use for their new owners and have mechanical issues that will first need to be resolved before they can be recommissioned.

NATO has helped provide Ukraine with weapons such as shoulder mounted anti-tank and anti-air systems. The alliance has also increased Ukraine’s artillery capabilities which have helped in the first two phases of the war, which have been defensive.

“Now that Ukraine is on the offensive, it desperately needs more mechanized capabilities to push its advantage before Russian reinforcements arrive,” Faintuch said.

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