TechRussia sends T-34-85 tanks to Belarus amidst military speculation

Russia sends T‑34-85 tanks to Belarus amidst military speculation

Russia transported T-35-85 tanks to Belarus
Russia transported T-35-85 tanks to Belarus
Images source: © Anton Gerashchenko

6:43 AM EDT, June 11, 2024

Russia has sent ten T-34-85 tanks to Belarus. The machines are expected to participate in the parade in Minsk, but experts also predict other uses for the equipment. Satellite images of a nearby military unit may confirm the formation of a new military brigade. We describe the capabilities of the T-34-85.

Reports have emerged on Russian channels that the Russian Federation has transported these 10 T-34-85 tanks to Belarus in phases.

The deputy head of the Belarusian army's armament stated that the T-34-85s are in excellent technical condition and can participate in combat tasks.

"The T-34 tanks that arrived from the Russian Federation are in excellent technical condition and are ready not only to march solemnly at the parade but also, if necessary, to carry out a combat mission," he said.

Is Belarus forming a new brigade?

The T-34-85 tanks are to participate in the parade in Minsk on July 7 at 2:00 PM ET, but the transport of the machines may also have another purpose. Earlier, reports were that a new military brigade was being formed in Belarus equipped with Iskander missile launchers.

The Belarusian service Radio Svoboda and military experts analyzed satellite images of the military unit in Osipovichi, Mogilev region. The Belarusian forces are constructing two new hangars there, which can accommodate 24 Iskander launchers (the number that makes up a division of machines in the Russian army).

Anton Gerashchenko noted that the military unit is far from the Asipovichi training ground and the artillery ammunition depot. The new division could use the nearby nuclear warhead storage.

World War II tank

The T-34-85 is a medium tank that was designed during World War II. Some may recognize it from the series "Four Tank-men and a Dog." The vehicle was built in the so-called classic design layout. The armor was made of rolled plates, and the turret was made of cast elements.

The tank's armament includes a ZiS-S-53 3.3-inch gun and two DTM 0.3-inch machine guns. The initial versions of the tank had a crew of 5, but in later models, such as the T-34-85M1 and M2, it was reduced to 4 by eliminating the bow gunner.

T-34-85 tank in the Museum of Russian Military History
T-34-85 tank in the Museum of Russian Military History© Wikimedia
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