More Russian Tanks keep dying in Ukraine – Russia’s presence in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, is dwindling. Russian troops began to withdraw from Kharkiv over the weekend following weeks of bombardment and are now focusing on protecting supply lines.
Three clips shared to a pro-Ukraine Telegram account show a Russian T-80BVM tank coming under fire from a Ukrainian anti-tank missile system. In the three clips, which you can see here, the Russian tank can be seen smoking and on fire. As always, we point out that 1945 cannot confirm the exact authenticity of such social media posts. However, as best as we can tell through our research, the video does appear to be authentic.
The tank attempts to fire at Ukrainian forces, before speeding away down a dirt path.
As the tank retreats, it fires at what appears to be a lone Ukrainian soldier who crouches, fires a weapon, and retreats.
The Telegram post was accompanied by a caption in Russian, which described how Ukrainian soldiers were “hunting” retreating Russians in the area.
“Special Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine tracked down the “game” – the Russian T-80 tank in the village of Pitomnik, Kharkiv region,” the caption reads, per Google Translate.
It is not known what happened to the tank or the Russian soldiers inside.
What is the T-80BVM?
Russia’s T-80BVM is a modernized and upgraded version of the T-80BV battle tank. The military vehicle was first introduced in 2017, but because of the high cost of operating the vehicles, they were kept in reserve until the Ukraine invasion. It means the loss of the tank seen in the videos mentioned above is a serious loss for the Russian military.
Russia’s T-80 tanks were originally intended to be retired in 2015 but were instead refurbished and kept in storage in the event that they were needed in combat.
Is Russia Running Short On Tanks?
Russia is believed to have lost at least 650 tanks in Ukraine so far, and Ukraine claims the number is closer to 1,200. The International Institute for Strategies Studies, however, says Russia still has 2,800 tanks and 13,000 armored vehicles in units, with 10,000 tanks in storage and an additional 8,5000 armored vehicles waiting to be deployed.
Russia’s Uralvagonzavod machine-building company also rolled out a new batch of T-90M tanks this week, with a ceremony attended by managers and employees of the plant.
Ukrainian soldiers have proven efficient at taking out Russian military vehicles, but their ultimate success depends on Russia’s ability to replenish lost tanks and precision-guided missiles.
It also depends on how quickly the United States and NATO countries can provide new missiles and missile systems.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.