Thanks for the Tanks – Ukraine Using Russia’s Tanks Against Them

Tank on the outskirts of Kiev / Screenshot via NBC News

Even as western military supplies and weapons pour into Ukraine, the besieged country has another source of military hardware – Russia. Apparently, Ukrainian mechanics in Kharkiv have been repairing battle-damaged Russian army T-72 and T-80 tanks for use by Ukrainian forces.

Task and Purpose writes:

Russia’s massive tank force was seen as one of its biggest tools in the invasion, but tanks have been bogged down, blocked and outright destroyed. The exact number is unknown–Ukraine claims to have destroyed more than 1,000–but at least 200 have been lost. Ukraine meanwhile has lost at least 70. Ukraine has captured several Russian tanks, allegedly up to 74.

And Ukraine is putting those damaged Russian tanks to good use.

Those mechanics [in the city of Kharkiv] have been looking for any damaged piece of equipment in the city, including tanks pulled out from bogs. With the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv successful, those repurposed tanks are being actively used against the army they were recovered from.

The New York Times reports:

In a warehouse in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Friday, a collection of battle-damaged Russian tanks and a cache of weapons, along with some Ukrainian vehicles, waited to be put back into commission.

A small team of a half-dozen Ukrainian mechanics ran around refurbishing and repairing the captured trophies and the other equipment, aiming to return them to the battlefield. 

This is where we bring the Russian tanks we pulled from the bogs, fix them up, and use them against the Russians,” said one mechanic, who did not want to be identified by name.

For those tanks that can’t be fully restored, Task and Purpose explains:

With Russian gear… they’re also looking for any intelligence information left in the vehicles. With equipment too damaged to repair and put back in the field, they’re stripped for parts. The ones repaired get fitted with new camouflage nets and get a test drive before being sent to the military. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - - PAULCRESPO.COM

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