Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in detail about the losses incurred by Ukrainian forces after an offensive that lasted nearly two weeks, during a meeting with military correspondents on June 14, and commented on the recent high losses incurred by the new Ukrainian armor of Western armor. He said, “When we started this conversation, we mentioned that the attack was carried out in two directions, and that the aviation destroyed many tanks. Helicopters are very effective,” he said, adding that Russian Kornet portable anti-tank missile systems “destroyed several armored vehicles and tanks. The Cronet missiles are working perfectly, but we need more of them, and it will be done.”
Putin further commented on the performance of the American M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and the German Leopard tanks, which suffered heavy losses in the recent failed attacks of the Ukrainian forces against the Russian positions.
He said, “After seeing its first combat operations in the conflict. It burned well, as we expected, whether it was a Bradley or a Leopard,” he said, adding that “the ammunition explodes inside, and pieces fly in different directions.”
Regarding the scale of losses incurred by batches of new weapons provided by NATO to Ukraine, Putin estimated: “I would say that 25-30% of the equipment supplied has already been destroyed.” It was further highlighted that Soviet equipment is still widely used by Ukrainian forces. Ukraine fielded by far the largest tank force in Europe before the outbreak of war in February 2022, with more than 850 Soviet-made T-64 and T-72 tanks in service, having been augmented since then by hundreds of T-72 tanks from reserves and from Russia. Eastern European and Moroccan stocks. The Russian president’s estimate came a day after he referred to the Ukrainian attacks as “massive”, estimating that Ukraine had lost 160 since early June and acknowledging that Russian forces had lost 54 – adding that some would be salvageable.
After Western stockpiles of Soviet-compatible equipment had been severely depleted by the mid-late 2022, Britain became the first to commit to supplying a Western-made tank class in December of that year with the introduction of the Challenger II tank. Germany then succumbed to significant pressure from several NATO members to allow Deploy Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 tanks in the war zone. The United States almost simultaneously pledged to send its own M1 Abrams tanks, though none are expected to arrive in Ukraine until around the end of the year. Germany was previously reluctant to send tanks to Ukraine because of the expected damage that might cause heavy losses to the tank’s reputation, after the tank proved to be weak in survivability in previous clashes in the Middle East.