Russia forced to use ancient tanks as materiel fails en masse in Ukraine, veteran says


Russian forces are having increasing problems with military equipment, a veteran of the Russo-Ukrainian war, and former company commander of the Aidar battalion, Yevhen Dykyi, said in an interview with Radio NV on Feb. 1.

Dykyi noted that the Russian military, whose losses are many times higher than the Ukrainian, are running out of soldiers more slowly than of hardware.

Read also: ‘Whole graveyard’ of Russian military equipment in war-torn region north of Avdiivka

“In all the areas where they are on the offensive (and they are now on the offensive in Slobozhanshchyna, in Maryinka, in Avdiivka, north of Vuhledar, trying to attack Krynky), armored vehicles are burning in astronomical quantities,” said the former company commander of the Aidar battalion.

“The main thing here is not just that it is burning a lot, but that it is burning much more than their defense can put on the front in a timely manner.”

He cited the example of tanks, critical components for which have not been produced in Russia for 30 years.

Read also: Russia suffers major equipment losses as Ukrainian forces strike Zoopark radar and Repelent-1 electronic warfare stations

“Unlike drones, which can be completely assembled from civilian components, this does not work with a tank,” said Dykyi.

“You can’t replace bearings in a tank with those taken from a Lada. As a result, their entire defense industry, Uralmashvagonzavod, etc., produces 20 new vehicles a month, and demothballs about 50 more vehicles from storage warehouses.”

T-54 and T-55 tanks are also being demothballed from Russian warehouses, according to the former company commander of the Aidar battalion.

“Let me remind you that in the Soviet tank industry, this double-digit index is the year of adoption,” he stated.

“That is, the ‘80s disco’ has already burned down, the tanks from the ’80s have all burned down. Now tanks from the ‘60s are actively burning, and tanks from the ‘50s are coming to replace them.”

Dykyi, citing data from Oryx and other OSINT analysts, said that while 70 Russian tanks arrive at the front per month, “our defenders burn 100 to 150 tanks per month, on average 120 tanks.”

“Their artillery is even worse,” said the veteran.

Read also: Russian forces intensify attacks amidst freezing conditions, suffer sharp increase in losses — UK intelligence

“They themselves have posted literally the screams of [Russian Defense Minister Sergei] Shoigu at one of their defense plants. He accuses the plant’s management of disrupting the production of self-propelled artillery systems, that they were given the task of producing self-propelled artillery systems at a normal pace in 2022, and they are producing as much as they did before the war. What they produced before the war was about 10 new self-propelled artillery systems a year.”

In addition to the fact that the Ukrainian military destroyed a lot of Russian artillery, its barrels are also wearing out and exploding.

“They started exploding even more often when Korean shells arrived,” said Dykyi.

“You don’t know whose role is more important: the worn-out barrels or the beautiful Korean shells. It’s more likely the latter.”

The veteran added that he had seen army tractors “with light bulletproof armor, and a gun turret welded on top of it, cut from a ship.”

“The last time this was done was during the siege of Leningrad,” said the former Aidar battalion company commander on the appearance of this equipment at the front.

Read also: UK sends UN experts photos of alleged North Korean missile and shell shipments to Russia

In late January, CIA Director William Burns reported that Russia had lost at least 315,000 soldiers killed or wounded and two-thirds of its pre-war tank stockpile since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Forbes reported on Jan. 10 that during Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, the aggressor state lost at least 2,619 tanks – at least 90% of the total number of tanks in their inventory.

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