Ukraine may have more battle tanks than Russia for the first time, new data shows

  • Ukraine may have more tanks than Russia for the first time, according to new data.

  • While Ukraine’s tank fleet continued to grow throughout the war, Russia’s was depleted.

  • However, a ground war specialist said that might not be enough of an advantage for Ukraine.

Ukraine may now be able to field more main battle tanks than Russia for the first time, according to new data.

A compilation of data from various sources suggests Ukraine currently has around 1,500 active tanks compared to Russia’s around 1,400, Bloomberg reported.

Russia started the war with 3,417 tanks available. Meanwhile, Ukraine had 987, according to The Military Balance for 2023, an annual report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank that reviews military equipment inventories.

While Ukraine’s tank fleet continued to grow, Russia’s was severely depleted.

Ukraine has received 471 more tanks since the start of the war last year, with another 286 still to arrive, according to data released by the Kiel Institute for World Economy,

During the conflict, Ukraine lost 558 tanks and captured 546, according to data from open-source outlet Oryx.

Meanwhile, Oryx estimates that Russia lost 2,091 tanks during the war.

This is likely a conservative estimate, as the outlet only counts wrecked vehicles for which photo or video graphic evidence is available.

Destroyed Russian tank in Kherson, Ukraine

A man checks the turret of a destroyed Russian tank near a village in Ukraine’s Kherson province in November 2022.Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A senior British defense official said this week that Russia had lost “nearly half” of its combat effectiveness since invading Ukraine.

Russia also pulled out decades-old Soviet tanks to send to the front lines after suffering heavy equipment losses.

It is difficult to confirm exact figures for equipment because Russia and Ukraine treat their losses as classified information, and open source data can only provide rough estimates. It’s also unclear how many old retired tanks Russia has released, Bloomberg noted.

On paper, Russia has more than 12,000 tanks, but most are believed to be obsolete and in storage. Many are too dilapidated to be of any use other than as a source of scrap metal, according to a May 27 British military intelligence situation estimate, according to the Kyiv Post.

While parity of tanks on the battlefield could hold promise for Ukraine, IISS ground warfare specialist Yohann Michel warned Bloomberg that parity might not be enough.

“Even if the situation is more equal in numbers, that’s not how it works,” Michel said. “The problem is that Ukraine now needs to regain territory, so they are on the offensive against well-prepared defences, and for that you need a strong advantage.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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