UK intelligence sources have revealed that Russia has been rapidly replacing its battle tanks destroyed in Ukraine at a rate of 100 a month. This has enabled Russia to sustain its offensive operations despite significant losses in Ukraine.
The UK Ministry of Defence, in an intelligence update on Monday, revealed that Russia’s ground forces have encountered a loss of up to 365 main battle tanks (MBTs) since early October 2023, averaging slightly over 100 tanks per month.
However, Russia is capable of replenishing them at a comparable pace, it noted.
“Russia can likely manufacture at least 100 MBTs a month and thus has the ability to replace battlefield losses and maintain this level of offensive activity in the foreseeable future,” the MOD stated.
Russia’s armored vehicle losses
The MOD further disclosed that Russia, aside from tanks, has also lost nearly 700 armored vehicles since October, resulting in “only minor territorial gains” during that period.
Since the commencement of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has reportedly lost approximately 2,600 MBTs and 4,900 other armored vehicles, according to the UK MOD.
However, Russia’s ability to sustain its current level of aggression comes amidst uncertainties surrounding the support Ukraine receives from Western nations, which provide the country with modern tank models and much of its weaponry.
Declining western Support for Ukraine
While Ukraine has suffered fewer losses in tanks and vehicles compared to Russia, the waning Western support tilts the advantage in Russia’s favor.
Ukraine requires assistance in maintaining its weaponry and tank fleet operational.
In the United States, Republicans are obstructing new aid for Ukraine, resulting in a lack of funding even for repairing weapons previously sent to Ukraine, as stated by the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, a German legislator mentioned that Ukraine is utilizing only a “very limited number” of the advanced Leopard tanks provided by Germany due to shortages of spare parts and slow repairs.
While many European countries continue to provide support to Ukraine, member state Hungary has blocked a significant $52 billion support package.
Experts also highlight Russia’s “material, industrial, and manpower” superiority over Ukraine.
Throughout the conflict, Russia seems to have manufactured sufficient missiles to replenish its depleted arsenals after enhancing its production capabilities.
During the course of the war, videos have emerged depicting Russia’s loss of numerous armored vehicles, including footage from the eastern town of Avdiivka, which has emerged as one of the most intense battlegrounds in the war.
One video showcased a collection of damaged Russian vehicles in Avdiivka late last year.
Ukraine also endured significant tank losses at the outset of its counteroffensive efforts last June, although losses have decreased since then.
According to one expert cited by Business Insider, Ukraine swiftly recognized a tactical error and adjusted its strategy, whereas Russia persisted in repeating the same errors, resulting in recurring tank losses.