The war in Ukraine has created chaos for millions of people all across Eastern Europe and spawned endless debate if a NATO vs. Russia war is possible.
And yet, how does one get the best information to track the war in realtime?
While surely it is not perfect, social media can provide a tremendous amount of open-source information for analysts to look over. The below is one such example.
The Ukraine War Dominates Social Media Again with New Footage
In a video shared on social media on Friday by Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons), a Russian T-62MV tank proved ill-suited for the modern battlefield in Ukraine. The tank apparently came under attack from a drone, which likely dropped ordnance onto the Cold War-era vehicle. Troops from the Ukrainian Army’s 79th Air Assault Brigade recorded the footage, and it has earned a reputation for its efforts to destroy Russian tanks and other armored vehicles with drones and man-portable anti-tank weapons.
At the end of the 22-second-long clip, the tank was seen engulfed in flames.
It would hardly be the first antiquated military platform employed in the ongoing conflict with Russia to meet such an end. The Soviet Army had retired the T-62 from frontline service nearly four decades ago, and while some have been employed in the Syrian Civil War, these vehicles seem entirely ill-suited on the modern battlefield, especially one where the enemy is armed with the latest man-portable anti-tank weapons.
Russia reportedly had thousands of the T-62s in storage, and likely has been operating on the mantra “it is better than nothing.” The tank crews might disagree.
Apparently, the only significant advantage of the T-62 is that it has been described as less complex to operate while it also requires less maintenance than the T-72. It has been suggested that those factors could make it a suitable weapon for militia units, as well as green conscripts, yet, against a trained adversary, the T-62 is little more than an armored coffin – and one that isn’t even all that particularly armored either!
As David Axe of Forbes noted back in February, a few months after it was first reported that the T-62s would be sent to Ukraine, Russia’s plan seemed to be little more than to take the six-decades-old tanks, install some new optics, and deploy it to Ukraine to “get blown up.” That would certainly seem to be the case based on the recent video, as the tanks have proven they’re not even good cannon fodder.
If deploying the T-62s to the frontlines was meant to force Ukraine to use up its stockpiles of ordnance for the FGM-148 Javelins or other man-portable anti-tank weapons, it would have still been a bad plan, yet Ukrainian forces have become adept at targeting the tanks with drones.
Low-cost ordnance and even gasoline bombs can be easily deployed, and the result is a burned-out tank – a fact that is only made worse if the crew is also killed in the process. “Deathtrap” could accurately describe the T-62 today!
That fact could explain why the Ukrainian Army – which has captured enough T-62s from the Russians to form a T-62 battalion of its own – has instead converted many into recovery vehicles.
It would seem that Kyiv won’t risk its experienced tank crews with the T-62s and instead will use the Soviet-era platforms in another role; one that ensures more viable tanks and armored vehicles are recovered and returned to service.
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) May 26, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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