Withdrawing Russian troops arm the Ukrainians with modern (by Russian standards) T-90 tanks which they abandon, much to Putin’s dismay. This while Moscow reactivates 60-year-old armored vehicles to meet needs on the front.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Russian Federation, the first batch of T-90A tanks has entered the equipment of the Ukrainian army,” the Defense Ministry in Kiev wrote on social media.
The T-90A is a modernized variant of the T-72. Although not on the level of contemporary Western tanks such as the Leopard 2 or Leclerc, the T-90 is one of the best armoured vehicles in the Russian army’s armoury.
Recently, one such vehicle was recovered near Kharkov after being found overturned in a ditch.
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According to analysts at Oryx, quoted by Business Insider, Russia has lost more than 7,000 vehicles and other heavy weaponry, such as artillery pieces and rocket launchers, in this war. These are visually confirmed losses. The real ones are probably much higher. The same source says Russia lost 30 T-90A and T-90M tanks.
The T-90M is an upgraded version of the T-90A that includes state-of-the-art electronics and costs about $4.5 million. This model provides the Ukrainians and their NATO allies with vital information about the level of technology Russia has reached in the field. The West has reportedly already dissected other weapons lost to Moscow in Ukraine, such as the Su-34 aircraft.
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In a nutshell, the T-90M has a crew of three, a 125 mm cannon, a weight of 46 tons and can reach a top speed of 60 km/h.
Many experts are surprised that the Russians leave such technology intact as they withdraw. The fact that they don’t destroy them suggests either that there is no discipline in Putin’s military or that there are no such procedures.
The British Ministry of Defence has conveyed that the way the Russians withdraw differs. Some units did so in an orderly, by-the-book fashion, while others fled in apparent panic.
Among the countries to which T-90 family tanks were exported were India, Azerbaijan and Algeria.