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UK Defense Ministry: Russia's potential deployment of new T-14 Armata tanks to Ukraine 'high-risk decision'
Russia may be planning to deploy a few of its latest T-14 Armata battle tanks to Ukraine, but it would be "a high-risk decision," the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Jan. 19 in its daily intelligence update. Due to production problems, logistical challenges, and lack of trust, these tanks' deployment "will likely primarily be for propaganda purposes," reads the report.
Russia's T-14 Armata tanks were in development for 11 years with repeated delays, the planned volumes were eventually reduced, and there were other manufacturing problems, according to the ministry.
Probably only a few dozen tanks were finally produced, and the commanders "are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat," it added.
"An additional challenge for Russia is adjusting its logistics chain to handle T-14 because it is larger and heavier than other Russian tanks," the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote.
In late December, imagery showed these tanks on training grounds in southern Russia, where the pre-deployment activities are reportedly taking place, the intelligence update reads.
Earlier, Russian state-controlled media reported that T-14 Armata tanks had been prepared for use in Ukraine, but it's unclear whether the tanks have been moved to the country yet.