Russia has likely lost up to half of its most advanced operational tank fleet since the start of the Ukraine War, including the newer T-90M Proryv (Breakthrough) tanks, which President Vladimir Putin has described as the best in the world.
In an interview with pro-Russian military bloggers, Putin said last Tuesday that the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine confirmed that the T-90M Proryv is the best main battle tank in the world.
Putin said: “Today, we can say that the T-90M Proryv is the best tank in the world. Once near the sites, it leaves no chance for anyone or anything. It shoots longer and more accurately. It also has better protection.
Putin cited the story of a Russian soldier being hit by a roadside bomb on a T-90M tank. The Russian president said: “The soldier was injured inside, not because of the shell, but simply because of the shock of the explosion, as he jumped from his place and hit hard with the tank. The tank remained intact.
State media described the T-90M Proryv as the most advanced armored vehicle in the T-90 main battle tank family and most of all suitable for modern warfare thanks to its comprehensive armor protection, automated fire control and enhanced survivability and enhanced survivability.
Meanwhile, Dutch open-source intelligence website Oryx, which collects visual evidence of military equipment losses, said the Russian military has lost at least 22 T-90M tanks since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022.
There could be more, and even if these numbers are a bit low one way or the other, it is clear that Russia has lost a large number of its modern military vehicles and heavy equipment so far in its invasion of Ukraine.
It is estimated that there may have only been 100 or so T-90M Proryv tanks in service by the time Russia launched its latest invasion of Ukraine in late February.
The T-90M is the latest main battle tank to enter Russian frontline service and is an upgraded version of the T-72 family main battle tanks from the Soviet era. In this regard, the new tank inherited the same conceptual flaws as its predecessor, such as the main cannon shells being stored directly under the turret, poor protection against modern anti-tank systems, and the lack of modern on-board electronics.