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Putin Is Desperate: Russia Is Sending Ancient T-62 Tanks to Ukraine

T-62
T-72M2 tank on Army day parade in Sofia.

The Russian military is running out of modern tanks to deploy to Ukraine and is resorting to using antiquated T-62 medium battle tanks.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and open-source intelligence, the Russian military is taking out of storage T-62 medium battle tanks and pushing them to the frontlines to replenish casualties.

Running out of Modern Tanks 

On May 23, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense stated that it had intelligence that the Russian military was moving T-62 medium battle tanks to the frontlines to make up for the losses it had suffered in Ukraine.

“As a result of losses during hostilities, russian [sic] enemy was forced to withdraw from storage T-62 tanks to recruit reserve battalion tactical groups that are being formed to be sent to Ukraine. In addition, equipment that was damaged and restored at repair and renovation plants is used to replenish the loss of weapons and military equipment,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said in one of its daily operational updates of the war.

Open-source intelligence that has surfaced shows military trains carrying scores of T-62 medium battle tanks moving to the frontlines. The Russian commanders are likely to send the tanks to depleted battalion tactical groups. But the obsolete tank will only exacerbate the issue and create even more casualties.

Three months into the invasion of Ukraine and the Russian military has suffered tremendous casualties. The reputation and combat readiness of the Russian military lie burning on a Ukrainian field, destroyed by an assortment of anti-tank weapons provided by the West.

As of Thursday, May 26, the Ukrainian military is claiming that it has destroyed 1,315 tanks, 3,235 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 201 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), and 2,225 vehicles and fuel tanks.

We should be cautious about these numbers for clear reasons. The Ukrainian military has a vested interest in overestimating the casualties it has inflicted on the Russian forces. However, independent researchers and Western militaries and intelligence services corroborate, up to a point, the Ukrainian numbers.

The heavy fighting that is taking place in Ukraine and the fact that the Russian military was by no means prepared for the months-long war taking place has strained the Russian logistics and force replenishment system to the limits.

The T-62 Medium Battle Tank 

First created in 1957 and produced in 1961, the T-62 medium battle tank was developed from the T-55 tank. When production stopped in 1973, the Soviet Union had produced approximately 20,000 T-62 medium battle tanks.

Eventually, the T-62 medium battle tank was replaced by the T-72 main battle tank that is currently in service with both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries.

With a front high inclination, armor plate 100mm thick and side armor between 45mm and 80mm thick, the T-62 medium battle tank was a formidable fighting machine in its time. But now, it is antiquated, and even basic anti-tank weapons can penetrate its armor.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Ivor

    May 27, 2022 at 4:12 am

    Now US is telling Ukraine it could escalate things if the target Russian territories, what is going on here Russia can do as they please bomb every building indiscriminately committ war crimes ,atrocities, genocide ignore laws of war yet Ukraine cannot attack Russia. The West are to scared it seems of what Putin will do , forget Putin Ukraine should reciprocate and bomb the he’ll out of Russia knock its oil depos out set them all on fire so Russia has no oil and can’t fund his evil war.

    • Mark

      May 27, 2022 at 7:54 pm

      This article is BS !
      More US/West narrative about Russia losing the war when they are actually winning.
      Sick of this CRAP!
      Do some real research….

      • Steve

        May 28, 2022 at 2:28 pm

        Yeah they left Northern Ukraine and have fallen back to the Donbas. Can you please get a phallic symbol to suck on before you orally satisfy Puty.

      • Mr Ed

        May 28, 2022 at 6:51 pm

        Agreed

      • Brian

        May 28, 2022 at 11:10 pm

        Spot on! This website is total horse shit. Always has been.

        Seek the truth. Do your homework! Use your God given brain.

      • Bryan Conklin

        May 29, 2022 at 5:09 am

        Da, comrade!

  2. Solomon

    May 27, 2022 at 4:16 am

    You are right Putin sees it as ok for Russia to get all help it wants but not Ukraine the country he invaded for no reason what a despicable little boss eyed can’t Putin is an evil little piece of shot..

  3. thelaine

    May 27, 2022 at 8:37 am

    It is nice to see the Russian trolls tie themselves in knots defending this war. Russians are good at difficult gymnastics.

    Hopefully, we will see the West continue to supply the Ukrainian armed forces and continuously tighten the sanctions until Putin is dead and Russia is ready to leave Ukraine. The world will be a little safer.

  4. Darren Robertson

    May 27, 2022 at 9:25 am

    The fire control on the old T-62’s are the real problem. Compounded by adding 115mm rounds to the already over-strained logistics chain. In a way the 115mm gun is more flexible giving hand loading and a decent semi-auto unloader. But the need for a loader is another negative. As is the lighter armor with no add on kits. If I was a Russian commander stuck with them, I would keep them out of open ground combat. Last thought, this also could be a method of quickly using geezerly reservist call up. If they retired on T-62’s; welcome home.

  5. TrustbutVerify

    May 27, 2022 at 9:49 am

    As was mentioned by a commentator the other day, we have LOTS of older Dragon ATGMs that would work on BMPs and T-62s (you’d have to get real close to a T-72 to get a hit on a good spot with a Dragon). If you consider what the former Colonel said on Russian TV (before he was told to go back on and change his story), the Ukrainians can arm 1 million people. With what, you may ask? We can give them a lot of small arms and ammo…and a bunch of Dragons to go with the newer Javelins, NLAW, etc.

  6. simon

    May 27, 2022 at 9:59 am

    Who wants to go with me to open a metal recycling center in southern Ukraine? The Russian army appears to just be pouring our eventual inventory into the country.

  7. Brian Foley

    May 27, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    Okay, when you throw an invasion party and somebody “drinks up” all the good stuff…what do you do ? Either you run down to the nearest store and buy more (which Russia can’t really do) or you break out that crappy stuff you forgot you had in the basement. Now reverse logic could come into play here…the Russians have watched as the Ukrainians wreck all their good stuff…so in the realm of “wearing the other guy out by punching his fist with my face” the Russians are hoping that the Ukrainians will use up all of their NLAWS, Javelins and Panzerfausts on “the crappy stuff from downstairs in the basement”.

  8. Francis Maikisch

    May 27, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    The Russians military reputation is dead, as the article states. T62 tanks? Really? Putin’s decades long modernization of the Russian military was either a ploy or a massive failure. Unless the Russian people rise up and overthrow the regime they will continue getting failed, corrupt leaders. Much like our own here in the US.

  9. Ed

    May 27, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    The T-62 tank could have value to the Russians.
    1. Park it in the open to attract drone strikes.
    2. Park it in the rear to use as artillery to cover a retreat.
    3. Park it in the way of advancing Ukrainians.
    4. Park so many of them all over Ukraine to give so many target option that the Ukrainians get confused and run out of missiles.
    I did say “could.”

  10. Stefan Stackhouse

    May 27, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    You will know that the Russians are REALLY getting desperate when they take down the old tanks that have been erected as WWII monuments all around the country, and try to get those running again. What then? Pull all the old suits of armor in the museums?

  11. marcjf

    May 28, 2022 at 2:54 am

    The Russians may figure that it pays to keep their better equipment (to the extent it still exists) in reserve and deploy old kit in what has become an old fashioned war of attrition. Losses of T62s scarely matter.

    • Exnavynuke

      May 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

      The loss of the those antiquated T62s scarcely matter except to the mothers of the boys forced to ride in those death traps.

      According to the UN, the Russian fertility rate in 1994 (the year most of the new conscripts were born) was 1.4 – where 2.1 to 2.2 is generally considered to be required for a stable population. What will tens of thousands of parents who’re at risk of losing their entire bloodline do, I wonder.

      • Bertram

        May 28, 2022 at 10:37 pm

        Even babies don’t want to be born in Russia

  12. Don T

    May 29, 2022 at 5:02 am

    Russia will win this. It really doesn’t matter which antiquated whatever they send. The Russian army outnumbers the Ukraine army 7-1 inside Ukraine. Russia has large numbers of weapons that could be used but for whatever reason Russia is just slowly and methodically taking territory.

  13. Jacksonian Libertarian

    May 29, 2022 at 6:40 am

    Putin is spending Russian lives with abandon (30k dead).

    Do you think the troops know, that he doesn’t care about them?

    That he expects them to die for his territorial ambitions?

  14. sarsfield

    May 29, 2022 at 11:27 am

    t62 good for infantry to hide behind – can stop 30mm autocannon rounds

  15. GhostTomahawk

    June 19, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    Could be a brilliant move actually. Let Ukraine burn thru its stores of modern anti tank weapons on relics and then deploy modern tanks against the Ukraines who no longer have modern anti tank weapons.

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