Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Russia uses T-90S tanks originally bound for export customers

In the last few days, photos and videos that have appeared on social media show an export version of the T-90 tank in Ukraine.

Russia faces depleting armor reserves after six months of significant losses in Ukraine and apparently decided to divert to its own forces T-90S tanks that were initially bound for export customers.

T-90S is made for export customers, potentially including Algeria, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.


As noted by the Russian state arms export agency Rosoboronexport, the T-90S is an advanced version of the T-series of Russian tanks, offering increased firepower, mobility and protection and it is designed for the export market.

Russia is visually confirmed to have lost an average of seven or so tanks a day in the first 100 days of the bloody war, and the actual number is likely far higher.  According to the Oryx Blog, run by military analysts Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans, Russia has lost at least 1200 tanks since Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine began on Feb. 24.

Based on these estimates, Russia has lost an impressive 40% of its total operational tank fleet.

According to some reports, like one from Forbes, Russia keeps thousands of old armored vehicles in long-term storage. But many of them no longer are usable.

A number of Cold War-era T-62 tanks have already been seen in Ukraine.

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is executive editor of Defence Blog. He is journalist, accredited defense adviser and consultant. READ MORE