Despite what some analysts predicted, tanks are still a very important resource in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia already lost 600 tanks and Ukraine 149
Both sides are using models made in the former USSR, such as the T-64, T-72 and T-80 (a development of the T-64), as well as T-90 made in Russia since the 1990s, and developed from the T-72. The Oryxspioenkop.com website, which has been tracking losses on both sides since the invasion began on February 24, has already documented the loss of 600 Russian tanks, mostly T-72 (106 T-72B, 94 T-72B3, 93 T-72B3 Obr. 2016 and 45 T-72B Obr. 1989, among others), but also considerable numbers of T-80 (66 T-80U, 21 T-80BV and 20 T-80BVM, among others), plus 19 T-90A.
In turn, the same source has documented the loss of 149 Ukrainian tanks, mostly T-64BV (113 in total). It should be noted that the real losses of both sides will be greater, since the aforementioned figures only include those losses that have been documented with photos and videos published on social networks.
Tanks delivered to Ukraine by the Czech Republic and Slovakia
However, Ukraine is receiving armored reinforcements from several NATO countries that also have Soviet-era battle tanks, models that Ukrainian crews already know. A month ago the Czech Republic sent some of its T-72M1s to Ukraine (Oryxspioenkop.com indicates that 12 tanks were sent) and Slovakia has also sent T-72M2. Although they are small amounts, these are very worthy donations, since both countries have small armies.
Poland reportedly delivered hundreds of modernized T-72s to Ukraine
Even more notable is the help from Poland. Last week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki confirmed that they are sending tanks to Ukraine, but did not want to reveal the number for security reasons. All the sources that speak on the subject indicate that they would be old T-72s that were modernized to the T-72M1, T-72M1R and T-72M1D versions.
According to UNROCA data from 2019, Poland had 382 T-72s, in addition to 232 PT-91 Twardys, a modernized version of the T-72 manufactured in Poland and which entered service in 1995. Oryxspioenkop.com estimates the number of tanks to be more than 230 sent by Poland to Ukraine, indicating that they would be T-72M and T-72M1R, and that deliveries would have started in April. In the last few hours, these images of the T-72s delivered by Poland to Ukraine have been released, already in use by the Ukrainian Army, and still with the three-tone Polish camouflage:
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