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Russian Tanks 2022: Thicker and Blinder

  Since the all out invasion of Ukraine the Russian army has lost at least 1700 tanks. This has caused the Russian army some supply problems, when they are re-forming their mauled units. Fighting has also revealed the need for upgrades on most of the Russian tank designs. The most obvious issues with the existing Russian tank fleet are the insufficient armor protection, the lack of reverse mobility and the vulnerability of the automatic loaders and their ammunition carousels. Although the last one has gifted us the sport of Turret Throwing. T-72B obr 2022 tanks Very little can be done for the mobility with the limitations of the existing transmissions and the autoloaders can’t really be replaced with better designs or human loaders either. The armor part on the other hand can be improved during the activation and refurbishment of the deep stored Soviet-era tanks. The first new design that appeared in the battlefield was an upgraded T-72B3 with additional armo,r mimicking the T-90M layo
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Redut: Russian Mercenaries Controlled by a Finnish Citizen

  The recent conflicts where Russia has been directly or indirectly involved, like the invasion of Ukraine and the civil wars in Syria, Libya and Central African Republic have introduced the public to the Russian quasi-private military contractors. The most famous of these “private military contractors”  is undoubtedly the notorious Wagner-group that is presently waging an army corps level assault on the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut after engaging in various war crimes across Ukraine. The group leader Evgeniy Prigozhin has used his close connections to the Kremlin to expand his private army with convicted criminals. But the Wagner isn’t the only such formation operating under the Kremlin's umbrella. Several rumors have been floating around about the increased friction between the Russian military and Wagner. Elements within the Kremlin and the Russian general staff are trying to elevate another private security company called Redut, Russian for a redoubt, to balance the growing power

Russian Spring offensive 2023: Kyiv Take Two

Russian T-80U tanks stuck and abandoned in Ukraine in spring 2022   The spectacular Ukrainian victories during the 2022 forced the Russian army to the defensive. With the Russian retreat from Kharkiv and the areas north of the river Dnipro in Kherson, the focus of the fighting has returned to the Donbass. The Russian forces, with Wagner mercenaries and penal battalions doing the bulk of the fighting and dying, are trying to take Bakhmut in a battle that invokes parallels to the meat grinders of the Great war. The Ukrainian armed forces on the other hand are slowly making progress towards Kreminna. Despite the continuous rumors about a new massive round of mobilizations, the Russian army cannot sustain the present level of attrition indefinitely. By throwing enough men and material against the prepared Ukrainian positions manned by experienced and highly motivated defenders, Russians may be able to gain some localized breakthroughs. But even if the Russian mechanized forces are able to

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, part 1: Mechanized forces prevail

  2022 will undoubtedly go down in history as the most influential year so far into this millennium. The unprovoked Russian full scale invasion into Ukraine shook the foundations of the international political order that had evolved when the West thought the Cold War ended. It also wiped out the credibility of the Russian armed forces, economy and leadership. While the war between Russia and Ukraine had been a reality since 2014, the invasion led to a scale of warfare not seen in Europe since 1945. Ukrainian T-64BV MBT during the battles in Eastern Ukraine The initial Russian concept of capitulating Ukraine by overwhelming its army and taking over Kyiv with a strategic strike was a sound one in theory. The reality of the Russian preparations, logistics, training and morale made such grandiose plans impossible to be successfully executed.  While the Russian lack of even basic skills at every level of their organization from individual riflemen to corps headquarters came as a shock to mo

Quick guide to identifying the Russian tanks Part 1: Updated Dec. 2022

  As most of the western nations have reduced their inventories to a few or mostly one type of main battle tank model in their active inventories, the myriad of tank platforms and distinct versions employed by the Russian armed forces may feel overwhelming. Here is a quick guide to identifying Russian MBTs. When you come across an image (or the actual thing), follow the steps to identify it properly. Updated 30.11.2022: T-90 modifications, T-62M Obr. 2021 Family of the tank Russian Armed Forces currently operates, or at least storage, the following tank platforms/families: -            T-55 (<2000 in storage) -            T-62 (2000 in storage) -            T-64 (2000 in storage) -            T-72 (2000 active duty, 8000 in storage) -            T-80 (2000 active duty, 5000 in storage) -            T-90 (350 active duty, 600  in storage) -            T-14 (20 in field testing) So how can you identify what type of a tank are you looking at? There are two features that can be used to

Quick Guide to Chinese PLA tanks

The Chinese People's Liberation Army, that isn’t for the people and never liberates anyone, has a massive tank fleet that traces its lineage to the Soviet T-54 and T-72 tanks, but the recent iterations have taken a path of their own. The oldest Chinese tanks in widespread PLA service are the pure T-55A derivatives Type 69 and Type 79. While these tanks are actively being phased out from service, they may still be encountered in remote areas and as replacements in a high attrition scenario.These share the 5 pairs of road wheels with spacing between the pairs increasing towards the front of the vehicle and a small rounded turret, typical for the Soviet tank designs. Both also have a rectangular exhaust port on the left side of the vehicle. The largest external difference between the Type 69 and Type 79 is the cannon. The Type 69 uses the Soviet 100mm gun that has its bore evacuator positioned at the tip of its barrel, just like a T-55. The Type 79 on the other hand is equipped with a