T-14 Tank in Ukraine?
Please note that while 19FortyFive cannot authenticate the video or the location of where the footage took place, three separate Russian experts we reached out to felt confident that the tank in the video was the T-14 Armata.
Of course, we cannot prove the tank was in Ukraine, so please keep that in mind.
Why Would Russia Send the T-14 Armata to Ukraine?
As Senior Editor Peter Suciu recently noted just the other day, “[M]oscow may not want to risk the T-14 in combat, as it would be a major propaganda coup for Kyiv were any of the tanks to be destroyed. Instead, a few T-14s may roll into uncontested areas, which will allow the Kremlin to stage some photos and then highlight how well-supplied its forces are on the frontlines.”
He adds that: “Though the T-14 was first unveiled at the 2015 Victory Day Parade in Moscow, Russia lacks significant numbers of the platform. The Kremlin had announced soon after its debut that the Russian Army would be equipped with upwards of 2,300 of the advanced tanks.
Yet, to date, only a few dozen at most have been produced – and it is unlikely Russia will ever have more than 100 in its arsenal due to the high costs. Even producing that many could be a challenge due to the Western sanctions now imposed upon Moscow.
Of course, the T-14 isn’t the only advanced combat platform that Moscow has largely held back.
The Sukhoi Su-57 multirole jet fighter has been used in a handful of sorties, and then it only fired its weapons into Ukrainian territory from within the safety of Russian airspace.”
The UK Ministry of Defense has talked about this issue as well in its updates, covering this specifically back in January of this year.
They explained that “[A]ny T-14 deployment is likely to be a high-risk decision for Russia. Eleven years in development, the program has been dogged with delays, reduction in planned fleet size, and reports of manufacturing problems.”
It seems possible that Putin sent the T-14 Armata to a relatively safe area to do some ‘glamour shots’ if you will and leave the area. Why risk a tank that essentially can’t be replaced and give Ukraine what would be a massive propaganda win?
If you are curious, and I know you are, you can see the full video here.
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Author Expertise and Experience
Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive and serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.