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Moscow appears to have resorted to using Soviet-era tanks in its invasion as it suffers massive equipment losses in Ukraine. Experts have claimed that recent video footage from the Russian front shows 1950s T-54 and T-55 units departing from eastern Russia. They have suggested the images show that Vladimir Putin has “used up” all of his country’s modern tanks.
The video footage now circulating widely online came from the independent Russian intelligence group Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT).
The organisation’s clip shows dozens of the vehicles aboard a train allegedly departing from Arsenyev, a town in the Primorsky region.
The town hosts the 1295th Central Tank Repair and Storage Base, a facility housing phased-out military units.
The footage does not indicate the tanks’ final destination nor whether they will see any action.
Arsenyev is nearly 10,000 miles from Bakhmut, where much of the fighting is currently raging between Russian and Ukrainian troops.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Ben Barry, an armoured warfare expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank, said the video makes it appear that Putin has flung all of Russia’s modern tanks to the frontline.
He said the country’s modern tanks are “in and around Ukraine”, meaning there are “no modern tanks left in stockpiles”.
The older tanks now seemingly heading out of storage are likely replacing all of the “used-up” more modern (but still Soviet-era) T-62 tanks.
Mr Barry concluded: “It suggests the Ukrainians are continuing to knock out their modern tanks at a time when the west is supplying modern tanks [to Ukraine]”.
CIT did not reveal from where its operatives obtained the intelligence, but other media channels have shared footage of what appears to be the same train.
If the footage and conclusions made by Mr Barry prove accurate, they add credence to the latest numbers from Ukrainian officials regarding Russian tank losses.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed on March 22 that Russia has lost 3,557 tanks so far, although these numbers have not been independently verified.
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