NewsUkrainian forces outmaneuver 'Putin's Pride': The fall of Russia's T-90M tanks

Ukrainian forces outmaneuver 'Putin's Pride': The fall of Russia's T‑90M tanks

Attack on a Russian column in the Donetsk region
Attack on a Russian column in the Donetsk region
Images source: © X, @front_ukrainian

2:46 PM EDT, May 13, 2024

Ukrainian troops successfully repelled a Russian attack near Terni in the Donetsk region, resulting in the loss of an entire column of Russian equipment, including the T-90M tank. This tank is often acclaimed as the finest in the current conflict. We delve into the specifics of its equipment and capabilities to better understand it.

According to reports and information shared on social media, the effective defense was largely due to the efforts of the 63rd and 60th Separate Mechanized Brigades of the Ukrainian army. Their strategic use of artillery and numerous UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) led to the destruction of several Russian vehicles.

The Russians lost an entire column of equipment

Destroyed Russian equipment
Destroyed Russian equipment© X, @front_ukrainian

Photos and videos shared by observers in Ukraine show that the defenders seized at least five Russian infantry fighting vehicles from the BMP series and an equal number of tanks during this assault. Notably, amongst the captured equipment were T-72B3 and T-90M tanks, the latter often heralded as "Putin's pride".

The best Russian tank in Ukraine

During a visit to an armament factory in February of this year, Vladimir Putin claimed that the T-90M is "the best tank in the world." It's important to highlight that the T-90M is the most recent variant in the T-90 series, which started production in 1992. Essentially, it represents a significant upgrade over the T-72 tanks. The T-90M, with its advanced design, stands as the most potent tank at the disposal of the Russian military.

Unlike older models, often of post-Soviet origin, the T-90M boasts superior offensive capabilities, thanks to a 125 mm 2A46M-5 cannon equipped with an enhanced fire control system and French thermal imaging. Additionally, the tank's crew can utilize two machine guns - one 7.62 mm and another 12.7 mm, and are further protected by Relikt reactive armor modules that fortify both the turret and the hull. The T-90M can reach up to about 40 mph on paved roads.

Despite its touted superiority, the conflict in Ukraine has exposed several shortcomings of the T-90M. The Ukrainian forces have destroyed multiple units of this model, and analyses of captured tanks have revealed that the T-90M might be "more of a failure than a breakthrough." Investigators found issues including an engine that performs below official specifications, microelectronics vulnerable to damage, and problematic radio communications.

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