Ukraine’s Secretive ‘White Wolves’ Unit Has Destroyed 216 Tanks: Kyiv


A wrecked Russian tank in Dovhenke village in the Kharkiv region on July 20, 2023. Kyiv has claimed its forces have destroyed 216 tanks since the war started in February 2022.SERGEY BOBOK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Ukrainian intelligence has released aerial footage which it claims shows the incapacitation of a number of Russian tanks as it boasts that the mysterious “White Wolves” unit had on its own successfully taken out two regiments since the invasion began 18 months ago.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) estimated that the unit had “destroyed” 216 tanks since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the “special military operation” in February 2022, citing a figure of 94 tanks per regiment.

A Russian tank battalion is usually comprised of between 31 to 40 main battle tanks, according to various current affairs outlets. Three battalions form a regiment, equating to around 93-100 tanks a regiment—suggesting the Ukrainian armed forces have wiped out more than two regiments.

The SBU said that the footage shows the White Wolves “destroy[ing] the third Russian tank regiment,” on the basis that “the full-time strength of the tank regiment of the Russian army is 94 units, our guys have already ‘closed’ two regiments on their account and are persistently finishing the third!”

A video posted by the SBU on Saturday shows a series of moments in which drones appear to drop explosives on Russian tanks. Several armored vehicles in various locations, including hidden under trees and between buildings, are seen being destroyed in the same manner.

It remains unclear when each of the tanks were destroyed, and over how long a period of time. Newsweek approached the SBU via email for further comment on Saturday.

In recent months, the Ukrainian armed forces have been probing the Russian defensive lines, entrenched over the winter, as it began its long-awaited counteroffensive on the occupied regions of the country.

Earlier in the week, Ukraine claimed to have liberated the town of Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region as ground forces created a bulge in the Russian front line in the south, seemingly with a view to pushing towards the Sea of Azov and cutting off the only remaining land route between Russia and the annexed region of Crimea.

At the same time, Kyiv has stepped up drone attacks on Russian cities, including Moscow, which have been viewed as an attempt by Ukraine to destabilize the nation.

The White Wolves unit is a part of the SBU and was credited with targeting of Russian positions and driving Moscow’s forces underground in eastern Ukraine in June.

Little information has been given about the covert unit, though the SBU has regularly published videos of their attacks.


  1. This is one of Ukraine’s best units, top trained with state-of-the-art equipment. Mafia land has nothing to compare with, not even Speznaz.

  2. The SBU is a really bizarre organisation.
    They are doing much more than any normal intelligence service, even building drones.
    Nonetheless, I like it a lot.
    I also admire Budanov for being able to lead such a complex organisation.

  3. I was mistaken, it is not Budanov, he leads the GUR. Vasyl Vasylyovych Malyuk is the leader of the SBU.

    I wonder how well they work together as currently they are doing a lot of similar things.

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