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Reports estimate Russia lost over 8,000 tanks, other armored fighting vehicles since February 2022

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 14, 2024 4:04 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian forces gather around one of their tanks and a captured Russian tank that bears the letter "Z," a Russian pro-war symbol in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, on Feb. 20, 2023. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images)
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Separate reports published by Estonia's Foreign Intelligence Service and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on Feb. 13 suggest Russia has lost over 8,000 armored fighting vehicles, such as tanks and armored personnel carriers, in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  

The latest Russian losses update by the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces estimates that Russia has lost over 12,000 armored fighting vehicles since February 2022

According to Estonia's Foreign Intelligence Service, Russia has lost 8,300 armored fighting vehicles in Ukraine, specifying that the figure includes 2,600 tanks, 5,100 armored personnel carriers, and 600 self-propelled artillery units.

The IISS said the figure has reached 8,800 since February 2022, with Russia losing more than 3,000 armored fighting vehicles in Ukraine in the past year alone.

However, the IISS said Russia has managed to "keep its active inventory numbers stable," despite losses of "hundreds of armored vehicles and artillery pieces per month," by refurbishing over 1,000 tanks and over 2,000 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers in storage.

"On top of that, Moscow was able to manufacture new tanks and other armored vehicles, though precise numbers are difficult to glean even from satellite images."

Based on current figures and satellite imagery of available storage bases, "Russia will be able to sustain its assault on Ukraine at current attrition rates for another two to three years, and maybe even longer," the IISS said.

Estonia's Foreign Intelligence Service also reported that Russia has turned to its "inventory of armored vehicles in long-term storage, primarily the thousands of units inherited from the Soviet military," but assessed that most vehicles are "decaying and technically outdated."

The oldest units have degraded "to a point where restoring their combat capability may not be possible or practical." The units that can be refurbished will face issues relating to a shortage of components and skilled labor, the report said.

Despite these challenges, refurbishing vehicles from storage "can compensate for losses in Ukraine for several more years."

While exact numbers on the Ukrainian side are unknown, the IISS estimated that the number of tanks in service "remains near pre-war levels."

The number of armored personnel vehicles and infantry fighting vehicles has actually "increased thanks to Western support," the IISS said.

"However, Ukrainian efforts to field additional combat elements have outpaced equipment supply, leaving some units lacking equipment to be even close to full strength."

Opinion: How many tanks does Russia have left?
How many tanks does Russia really have left? This question has come up quite frequently in discussions, and it’s simply impossible to find a precise answer – Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov probably don’t even know. But this doesn’t deter us

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