Russia lost more than a dozen tanks and armored vehicles in Ukraine within the last 24 hours, according to an update published by Ukraine’s armed forces.
The General Staff of Ukraine reported on Sunday that the forces in Moscow lost 13 tanks, 14 armored vehicles and one Russian aircraft since its last update on Saturday. He said Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Su-25, a Soviet-era twin-seater.
The General Staff reported that 900 Russian soldiers had been killed during the same time frame, but that couldn’t be independently verified.
On Friday, the British defense ministry said Russian forces had “abandoned” armored vehicles near the Donetsk town of Vuhledar, which has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks.
After relaunching an offensive around the western edge of Vuhledar late last month, the “inexperienced units” sent by Russia’s military command “likely suffered particularly heavy casualties,” the defense ministry said.
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“Russian troops likely fled and abandoned at least 30 mostly intact armoured vehicles in a single incident after a failed assault,” the government department wrote on Twitter.
On February 10, Russian ultra-nationalist “milblogger” Igor Girkin wrote on Telegram that “more than 30 units of armored vehicles were lost” in attacks on Vuhledar.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that Russia was going to up its tank production after Western countries committed further military aid to Kyiv.
“How should we respond?” Medvedev said on Telegram on February 9, following a visit to Siberia, according to Reuters. “It is clear that in this case, it is natural for us to increase production of various armaments including modern tanks.”
On February 9, citing the Dutch open-source monitoring outlet Oryx, the Institute for the Study of War think tank said Russia had lost around half of the tanks it had committed to Ukraine at the start of the invasion in February last year.
As of Sunday, Oryx had confirmed 1,008 Russian tanks as destroyed in Ukraine, with a further 79 damaged and 85 abandoned. Ukrainian forces have captured 546, according to its tally.
The open-source outlet said Russia had also lost 483 armored fighting vehicles, with 12 damaged, 27 abandoned and 258 captured. Moscow’s forces had lost at least 295 armored personnel carriers, with 182 destroyed and 96 captured by Ukraine, it added, in addition to the loss of 176 infantry mobility vehicles.
However, these numbers are likely to be much higher in reality, according to Oryx, as the outlet only counts vehicles where there is photographic or video evidence.
“The Russian military needs to quickly replenish these tank losses to maintain the ability to conduct large-scale mechanized maneuver warfare ahead of a likely increased pace of offensive operations in eastern Ukraine,” the ISW said on Thursday.