Putin: ‘Western tanks burn even better than T-72s, 100 destroyed’

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On July 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed a startling statistic – since June 4, Russian forces have decimated 311 tanks of the VSU, a third of which were Western-made. He added an interesting observation that these Western tanks ignite “even more spectacularly” than the Soviet T-72s, leading to Ukrainian crews often declining to operate them.

Photo credit: Defence-blog

In a strategic move on the same night, Russia’s armed forces launched a high-precision attack on the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ ammunition depots. Analysts point out that such tactical strikes noticeably decrease the barrage on Russian forward positions and cities in the Donbas region.

Western tanks – a hot topic

During the period of June 4 to July 12, Ukraine witnessed the loss of 311 tanks in the counteroffensive, Putin stated. He pointed out that a significant portion of these were Western-made, including the renowned Leopard.

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Ukrainian service members often hesitate to board these Western tanks as they are frequently the primary targets on the battlefield. Putin noted, “They burn just like all the others, but even more spectacularly than the well-known Soviet T-72s.”

Putin recalled Ukraine’s hopeful reliance on its delivery of long-range missiles, stating, “Sure, they cause damage, but nothing game-changing happens in the combat zone with their use. The same is true for foreign-made tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.” He stressed that the introduction of weapons won’t alter the battlefield dynamics, but instead exacerbate Ukraine’s situation and further fuel the conflict.

Western tanks destroyed

Whether 100 Western tanks delivered to Ukraine have been destroyed – we cannot confirm. The fact is that since the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in early June, a part of the Western-supplied equipment of Ukraine has been destroyed.

Photo credit: Twitter

It’s not just Leopard tanks that there is evidence of being destroyed. Russian President Putin is most likely also referring to the French AMX-10 “tanks” that Ukraine received. On several occasions, Eastern and Western media have quoted Ukrainian military participants who claim that the French armored vehicle has great shooting capabilities, but very poor armored performance. The armor of the AMX-10 is thin and easily penetrated, the Ukrainians say.

Ukraine is also using American-made and supplied Bradley infantry fighting vehicles in its counter-offensive. However, they also fell victim to Russian anti-tank missiles, minefields, and air raids by Ka-52 attack helicopters.

What tanks did Ukraine get?

Three Western tanks will trample Ukrainian soil in an attempt to return what was temporarily conquered by the Russian army. These are the German Leopard, the English Challenger 2, and the American Abrams 1M. At present, there is evidence that only German Leopard tanks are participating in the fighting.

Photo credit: YouTube

There are claims that the British Challenger 2 has been spotted in Ukraine, but there is no confirmed information that this tank has yet taken part in the war. However, the American Abrams will most likely arrive in the fall or winter, and they may take part in the war in the first half of 2023.

At the same time, while fierce battles are going on between Russians and Ukrainians, Germans and Poles disagreed and abandoned an idea that was supposed to help the Ukrainian army. I.e. the construction of a repair center in Poland to service damaged Western armored fighting vehicles, especially Leopard tanks.

The reason this center was not positioned in Poland was the requirement that Poland make repairs at a much higher price than necessary. Thus, due to financial differences, Germany will repair damaged Ukrainian tanks in Germany. I.e. instead of traveling 100 km to the repair center, tanks will now travel 600 km to the repair center.

Ukraine and NATO

Putin voiced his concerns about Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO, stating it poses a significant risk to Russia’s security. “One of the reasons for the special military operation was the looming threat of Ukraine joining NATO. I firmly believe this won’t boost Ukraine’s security in any way,” Putin stated.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

He further suggested that Ukraine’s entry into the alliance could render the world more susceptible and trigger additional international tension. “That’s why I see no positives in this scenario,” concluded the Russian leader.

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