Today marks 10 weeks since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the Russian Armed Forces have suffered a new humiliation. This time on land.
On Wednesday, Oryxspioenkop posted this photo of a war reporter near a destroyed Russian tank in the Kharkov region:
Expanding the image of the tank, what we see is a T-90M, the most modern model in the Russian Army's armored park (if we exclude the T-14 Armata, which is not yet in service).
This Wednesday, Tank Diary identified the model in the photo by the characteristic remote-controlled turret equipped with a machine gun that the T-90M carries next to the commander's hatch.
What appears to be a destroyed Russian T-90M near Kharkov, Russia has so few of these tanks that any loss is a big one. pic.twitter.com/BWcUC1eTUC
— TankDiary (@TankDiary) May 4, 2022
The T-90M Proryv is a modernized version of the T-90A, itself derived from the original T-90, which made its appearance in 1992. Like its predecessors, it has a 125mm 2A46M-5 cannon and is powered by a more powerful, plus a redesigned turret with additional armor. Here we can see it in a photo published by Vitaly Kuzmin on April 7.
Deliveries of the T-90M began in April 2020. The official Russian agency Tass noted then: "The Proryv is outfitted with a new multi-channel sighting system that allows employing weapons at any time of day or night and, as its major advantage, it can exchange data with other vehicles in real time. The T-90M's armor features special anti-slip coating similar to that used on the latest T-14 Armata tank."
The first official event in which the T-90Ms already in service participated was the Moscow Victory Parade on May 9, 2020, commemorating the Allied victory in World War II in Europe.
According to this report published by Tan Diary on March 19, in September 2021 Russia had only 2,573 active tanks, that is, they are actually in service in an organized unit (a tank battalion, regiment, brigade, etc.) and that are not undergoing field tests (as is the case with the T-14 Armata). Of them, Russia has already lost 606 in Ukraine, according to the latest data from Oryxspioenkop.com. As we already saw in Defense and Aviation on April 14, the Russian tanks deployed in Ukraine would be about 1,400.
As seen in the graph, in September Russia only had 8 active T-90Ms, so the loss of just one is serious damage. In total, Russia has already lost at least 20 T-90 tanks, including different variants, in Ukraine.
However, the most punished model of the Russian armored fleet in Ukraine is precisely the model on which the T-90 is based. According to data from Oryxspioenkop.com, Russia has already lost at least 364 of the 1,903 T-72s it has in total in Ukraine in 10 weeks. The humiliation that Russia has suffered with the destruction of that T-90M is symbolic, but the loss of almost a fifth of its T-72s in less than two and a half months is even more humiliating.
Likewise, Russia has already lost at least 114 of its 443 T-80s in Ukraine, that is, a quarter of the total. And that, I repeat, in just 10 weeks. If this war continues, Russia will end up having serious problems covering the already enormous losses it is taking in its armored fleet.
Main photo: Vitaly Kuzmin. A T-90M at the Victory Parade in Moscow on May 9, 2020, when the first units of this tank, already in service since April of that year, were presented.
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