Ukrainian soldiers say they caught a Russian medic forced to operate a tank, highlighting the dysfunction in Putin’s army

Mar 1, 2023

As seen from an aerial view, a destroyed Russian T-80 tank, its turret blown upside down, sits on a former frontline on February 27, 2023 in Bogorodychne, in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. 
John Moore/Getty Images
  • Ukrainian troops said they recently captured a Russian medic who was forced to operate a tank.
  • The incident, reported by the New York Times, highlights dysfunction within Russia’s military. 
  • Russia continues to face personnel setbacks and high casualties after a year of full-scale war.

Ukrainian soldiers said they captured a Russian medic who had been forced to operate a tank in a recent battle, according to a new report.

The soldiers told The New York Times that the medic had been reassigned to drive the tank during a three-week-long battle near Vuhledar in southeastern Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said it was the biggest tank battle of the war so far and proved to be a decisive victory for Ukraine.

During the battle, Russian forces made similar mistakes to those seen during other moments of Moscow’s one-year-long full-scale war, including advancing columns of tanks straight into Ukrainian ambushes and failing to capture territory, the report said.

Russia’s tanks have suffered a severe beating in Ukraine, with US officials estimating that Moscow likely lost half of its main battle tanks since late February 2022. According to Oryx, an open-source intelligence site, nearly 1,800 Russian tanks have been either destroyed, damaged, captured, or abandoned. 

Even Russian tank forces long considered to be elite — like the storied 1st Guards Tank Army — have repeatedly been beaten by the Ukrainians in battle and endured heavy casualties. 

Meanwhile, the Russian medic’s reassignment to the tank highlights separate problems facing Moscow’s military. It faces a lack of skilled troops to perform their duties, and often times, it is sending inexperienced and unprepared soldiers into the front lines.

Senior US military officials said in January that Russia was pursing an unsuccessful strategy of rushing ill-equipped and poorly trained troops to the front lines, where they call fill the gaps within decimated units. Russian forces have also been using prisoners and freshly mobilized to absorb heavy Ukrainian fire like sponges.  

Ukrainian intelligence has also suggested that Russia’s strategy appears to include drafting full-time college students into the military as part of a future mobilization effort, which will reportedly by carried out within the next few weeks. 

Russia continues to face various setbacks over a year into the conflict that it started — dealing with unskilled troops, high casualties, and limited resources. Even with no clear end to the conflict in sight, senior Pentagon officials and top US generals are signaling that Russia has lost the war and will emerge from the conflict as a “shattered military power.” 


  1. Insane!
    I’ve mentioned several months ago that mafia land doesn’t have the personnel to train its mobilized meat puppets properly since there is no one left who is qualified, this includes tankers. When first reports about ancient T-62s emerged, I said basically the same thing. The mafiosi simply doesn’t have enough good soldiers left anymore, only cannon fodder. Heck, they don’t even have real generals.

  2. Sounds more like the plot from a stephanie shitehawk film.

    Didn’t he do one about a Chef on a Submarine or some such load of shite?

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