Misery for Putin as Ukraine captures over 100 tanks bringing total to MORE than before war

Deepfake of Zelensky delivering speech appears online

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Unconfirmed figures show, while 74 of Ukraine’s tanks have either been destroyed or seized by Russia, it has captured at least 117, according to open source intelligence analysts. Reports vary, but Russia is believed to have lost between 274 and 561 battle tanks.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine put Russian tank losses at 561 in a Facebook post on Friday.

It also said 115 of Russia’s warplanes have so far been destroyed in the conflict which has now entered its fifth week.

Ukraine’s reported gains led some commentators to assert that the difference in captured tank numbers highlights Russia’s lack of preparedness for a war against a determined enemy.

Forbes’ aerospace and defence expert, David Axe, explained: “The Ukrainian army’s main tank, the T-64, no longer is in active use in the Russian army. But the Ukrainians also operate at least two models that the Russians still use too, the T-72 and the T-80.

“The T-80 actually is an evolution of the T-64, itself one of the most sophisticated tanks Soviet industry ever produced.

“The T-72, by contrast, is a simpler, cheaper tank – one suitable to mass-production and easy support in the field. It’s not for no reason that Ukraine generally assigns its T-72s to reserve formations.”

Mr Axe, writing in Forbes, added: “In any event, there aren’t many captured Russian tanks Ukraine can’t use in some capacity.

“The question is how quickly Kyiv’s army can take stock of a vehicle its troops – or civilians – have seized, repair any damage, fuel it up, restock its ammo and assign it to a crew with the right training.”

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The captured tank figures come as Boris Johnson admitted it would be a challenge to give Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky the tanks he demanded at a NATO summit on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson said Ukraine’s allies would strive to give Kyiv weapons in the quantity and quality he needs to defend his nation.

He pledged more missiles as well as a fresh deployment of UK troops to Bulgaria on top of doubling personnel in Poland and Estonia to boost NATO’s eastern flanks.

Britain has sent more than 4,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. These include next-generation light anti-tank weapons systems and Javelin missiles.

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It is also supplying and training Ukrainian troops in the use of Starstreak high-velocity anti-air missiles.

However, Ukraine is concerned that it is running out of weapons capable of knocking out Russian tanks and planes.

But Russia is also believed to have been beset by logistical difficulties which have forced it to abandon plans to surround Kyiv and Kharkiv in addition to attacking from the south coast and east of Ukraine.

In the month since launching its invasion, Russia has failed to capture any major Ukrainian city and Moscow has met stiff resistance from Ukraine’s forces.

The Kremlin signalled on Friday that it is scaling back its ambitions in Ukraine to focus on territory claimed by Russian-backed separatists.

A British intelligence report described a Ukrainian counter-offensive pushing Russian troops back in the east.

The report said: “Ukrainian counter-attacks, and Russian forces falling back on overextended supply lines, has allowed Ukraine to reoccupy towns and defensive positions up to 35 km east of Kyiv.”

Russia’s Defence Ministry said a first phase of its operation was complete and it would now focus on two breakaway areas in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region claimed by Russian-backed separatists.

The announcement appeared to indicate more limited goals.

Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, said: “The main objectives of the first stage of the operation have generally been accomplished.

“The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which… makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbas.”

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