Using such outdated tanks has negative effects on crew morale

The disaster of the old Russian T-62s: dozens of them have been captured by Ukraine

The serious tank losses of the Russian army in the Ukraine are increasing, and in some cases Russia is suffering a humiliation.

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A desperate measure of the Russian army

Last fall, when Russia already accumulated losses of around 1,200 tanks in Ukraine, the Russian army was forced to resort to a desperate measure: to mobilize old T-62 tanks that were in their warehouses. These are obsolete tanks from the 1960s, to which they added, in some cases, the already typical anti-Javelin grills to make their crews believe that they would be safer that way. A protection that has already proven to be completely useless.

A Russian T-62M captured by the Ukrainians in the Kherson region in October. It has the typical anti-Javelin grill that the Russians put on their most obsolete tanks to protect them, in vain, against modern anti-tank missiles (Photo: Ukraine Weapons Tracker).

The mechanical and maintenance problems of the T-62

The first problem with mobilizing those old tanks is the state of the vehicles themselves. Even if they are in a condition to reach the front without the need to be transported in a truck, such old tanks are susceptible to many mechanical failures, for which reason they require good maintenance at the front itself and adequate logistics line that supplies spare parts in case they are necessary. But that has been one of Russia's biggest failures since the beginning of the invasion, a failure to which great weight can be attributed among the causes of the failure of the Russian offensive against Kiev.

A Russian T-62M captured by the Ukrainians in November (Photo:

The effect on crew morale

To the mechanical problems we must add the moral factor. Demotization has been another of the serious problems of the Russian army since the beginning of the invasion. In the case of tank crews, everything indicates that a situation very similar to what happened in the Gulf War three decades ago, when the crews of T-55 and T-55 tanks -62 Iraqis fled when they saw the turrets of the most modern T-72s blown up, aware that they had no chance against the most modern Western tanks, such as the American M1 Abrams and the British Challenger 1.

A Russian T-62M captured by the Ukrainians in the Kherson region in October (Photo: Ukraine Weapons Tracker).

In the invasion of Ukraine, that Soviet-era model had disastrous figures: Russia has already lost 1,056 T-72s in Ukraine (adding the figures for all variants published by between tanks destroyed, damaged , captured and abandoned. Seeing more modern tanks suffer such high losses contributes to making T-62 crews feel like they are on tracked coffins. And that ultimately also has a reflection in casualties.

A captured Russian T-62M near Chornobaivka Airport in the Kherson region last November (Photo: Ukraine Weapons Tracker).

Ukraine has already captured 44 Russian T-62s

According to figures published by , Russia has already lost 70 T-62s in this invasion, a very low figure compared to the losses of T-72s, but which can be explained by the reduced number of T-62s mobilized at the front. The most striking thing is that of those 70 T-62s lost by the Russians, 44 were captured by the Ukrainians. Picturesque photos of Ukrainian soldiers next to captured Russian T-62s have been seen on social media , as if they were visiting a museum.

A T-62M abandoned by the Russians in the Kherson region in early October (Photo: Ukraine Weapons Tracker).

Among the Russian T-62s captured by the Ukrainians there is one that certainly deserves to be in a museum. It is a T-62 Obr. 1967, surely the oldest Russian tank of all those captured by Ukraine (you can see its photo below these lines). This model is a modification made to the original T-62 in 1967, with a simple modification to the engine cover.

Probably the oldest Russian tank of all captured so far by Ukraine in this invasion: a T-62 Obr. 1967. He was captured in November (Photo:

Most of the T-62s captured by the Ukrainians are more modern models, the T-62M and T-62MV, with modifications added in the 1980s. The T-62Ms were semicircular shields on the front of their turrets, while the T-62MVs received reactive armor plates. Considering how many of them have been abandoned by the Russians in the Ukraine, these modifications don't seem to inspire much confidence in their current crews.

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