The Russian army is not only being called into question because of its heavy losses in the Ukraine, but also because of the age of its materiel.
Until now not a single photo has appeared to prove the announced deployment of the modern Russian T-14 Armata tank, what has appeared today is, so to speak, its great-grandfather. This afternoon, the Ukrainian Twitter account Special Kherson Cat has spread images of an abandoned Russian T-54B tank at the front line.
The published images show the old Russian tank on a muddy road. The tank is equipped with the anti-Javelin grill which was already shown on more modern Russian tanks at the beginning of the invasion, and which proved completely useless against modern man-portable anti-tank missiles. The mounting of this accessory seems more like an attempt to reassure the crews, something illusory when we talk about a tank designed in the 1940s.
The first prototype of the T-54 was built in late 1945, shortly after the end of World War II. The model finally entered service in 1948. The T-54B version was designed in 1955, introducing a 100mm D-10T2S gun with stabilizer, and entered production in 1957. Thus, Russia is sending a pre-Vietnam War tank model to the front lines.
Let us remember that in March, pictures of old Russian T-54 and T-55 tanks being shipped to Ukraine, being transported on a train from their warehouses in eastern Russia, were already released. Russia is suffering huge tank losses in Ukraine (1,943 as of today, according to Oryxspioenkop.com) and therefore has to resort to obsolete military equipment that had been stored for decades.
This afternoon Russian tank expert blogger @AndreiBtvt posted these two censored photos of one of these old tanks and has pointed out that T-54Bs are being used by Russia in southern Ukraine: "A month ago, up to a company of such vehicles (T-54 and 55) was transferred to the howitzer division. They work as artillery, crews are 3 people."
AndreiBtvt has pointed out that "The crews were recruited from a tank battalion and artillery, after which they were trained for a week." Russia would be using the T-54B as a self-propelled artillery, something this tank was not designed for, whose barrel, moreover, has a much lower caliber than the usual self-propelled artillery pieces of the Russian army.
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