- In the first nine months of fighting, Russia lost up to 50 percent of its most important tanks from before the war, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said in mid-February.
- The British defense ministry has said that Russia's ability to make weapons is a "critical weakness" that has been hurt by the war in Ukraine.
On Sunday, Kyiv said that Russian forces in Ukraine had lost 15 tanks in a single day.
In its daily update on Facebook, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said that 15 tanks and 15 armored personnel carriers had been taken out of service. According to Ukraine’s military, eight Russian artillery systems and two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, had also been destroyed in the last 24 hours.
Kyiv says that Sunday’s update brings the total number of Russian tanks lost to date to 3,595. Ukraine’s military has posted a lot of videos online showing Russian tanks being attacked, and many Western analysts say Russia has lost a lot of tanks because of Ukraine’s actions during the war.
Kyiv’s number is higher than many Western estimates, including one from the Dutch open-source verification outlet Oryx. As of Sunday, it said Russia had lost 1,889 tanks that could be seen. On the website, 1,137 are listed as “destroyed” and 552 as “captured” by Ukrainian forces.
In its daily report on Saturday, Russia’s defense ministry said that Ukraine had lost 8,399 tanks and other armored combat vehicles since February 24, 2022.
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would make and upgrade more than 1,600 tanks in the next three years. Putin told state media that Russia will have at least “three times” as many tanks at its disposal as Ukraine.
But Putin’s goals don’t take into account Russia’s “limited industrial capacity” to quickly make advanced tanks and their losses on the battlefield, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in Washington said on Saturday.
The only company in Russia that makes tanks would need six years to reach this number at its current production rate, the think tank said. The ISW said that Moscow will have to take old tanks out of storage and fix up others to meet Putin’s goal.
The ISW found that Russia would need to make 1,350 tanks in the next nine months to keep its stockpiles at the same level as they are now.
At the beginning of February, Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president who is now the deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, said that Moscow would make more modern tanks after the West gave main battle tanks to Ukraine.
The British defense ministry has said that Russia’s ability to make weapons is a “critical weakness” that has been hurt by the war in Ukraine. Writing on Twitter on February 15, the ministry said that production is “almost certainly” not meeting the needs of Russia’s defense ministry.
In the first nine months of fighting, Russia lost up to 50 percent of its most important tanks from before the war, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said in mid-February. The ISW also said at the time that Russia probably lost half of the tanks it used in the war.