March 29 2023
A Russian tank formation created for the Ukraine war has suffered heavy losses owing to a lack of discipline and low morale, with one regiment losing a “large proportion of its tanks”, according to British intelligence.
The 10th tank regiment is part of the 3rd army corps, the first major new Russian formation formed to support the invasion.
In recent weeks, Moscow has switched its focus to Avdiivka in the Donetsk region, hoping to encircle the Ukrainian troops defending it after having so far failed to capture nearby Bakhmut.
However, its 10th tank regiment has lost significant numbers of tanks in the city while making only marginal gains.
Russia is believed to have lost at least 1,900 tanks since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine in February last year, according to Western analysts. Repeated tactical failures were blamed for the heavy losses Russian forces sustained around Avdiivka, according to the British ministry of defence.
“10th tank regiment’s losses have likely largely been due to tactically flawed frontal assaults similar to those in other recent failed Russian armoured attacks, such as around the town of Vuhledar,” the ministry said yesterday.
The formation has reportedly been dogged by ill-discipline and poor morale. Soldiers from the newly formed 3rd army corps are often drunk, use obsolete weapons and received poor training in Belarus, according to Ukrainian sources. Attempts by Russian forces to use armour in suicide missions have become more prevalent.
Moscow has lost 1,900 tanks, including 1,147 destroyed and more than 500 captured by Kyiv, since the beginning of the war, according to Oryx, a intelligence outfit that tracks battlefield losses.
It is feared the renewed effort to seize Avdiivka could create a “second Bakhmut”. Vitaliy Barabash, the town’s top military official, has banned journalists and aid workers from entering, and ordered public officials to leave.
As the battle for the town continued to rage yesterday, Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, demanded that Russian forces leave “every square metre” of Ukrainian territory.
“There should be no misinterpretation of what the word withdrawal implies,” he told the US-led Summit for Democracy yesterday, referring to Volodymyr Zelensky’s commitment to recapturing Crimea.
Mr Kuleba said: “The cessation of Russia’s aggression and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity are essential conditions for peace. In this fight, we are defending the entire democratic world.”
Meanwhile, Moscow yesterday said it had downed a long-range glide bomb supplied by the US for the first time.
I remember a medic who was part of a mafia tank crew. Like I said before, even the best tanks in the world will be of little value when their crews are badly trained, and, in mafia land’s case, drunk to boot.