At the beginning of the invasion, Ukrainian forces demolished a Russian tank near Kyiv.

The International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) has calculated that the Russian military has endured a loss of approximately 40% of its tanks since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, compared to the number it held before the conflict. The percentage of tanks used in battle can climb as high as 50%, causing Russia to use its still considerable cold war-era inventories. 

The exact number of tanks in Russia’s arsenal is difficult to determine due to the lack of available information; however, it is estimated that up to 40% of its prewar fleet has been lost since the start of the war in Ukraine. Of those losses, some 50% can be attributed to the tanks used in combat. This has forced Russia to draw upon their still considerable cold-war-era stocks for replacements. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s tank numbers have risen due to captured vehicles and reinforcements from Western countries. 

John Chipman, the leader of the think tank, asserted that the conflict had been a “political and military misadventure for Russia,” spotlighting defects in leadership and weaknesses in its arms, notwithstanding the Kremlin’s modernization endeavors.

The IISS’s annual Military Balance audit of the world’s armed forces was launched with a statement raising questions concerning the Russian military’s and its commanders’ competency and the unity of its command.

Russia has several modern tanks in its arsenal, considered state-of-the-art, such as T-90A, T-80U, and T-72B3. The T-90A is regarded as one of the most advanced main battle tanks currently in operation and is armed with a 125mm gun and an array of sophisticated optics that give it superior observation capabilities. It also features explosive reactive armor (ERA) that protects against anti-tank-guided missiles and other explosives. The T-80U is powered by a turbine engine producing 1,100 horsepower and is equipped with a 125mm gun capable of firing both conventional rounds and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). Additionally, the tank has ERA protection and an advanced fire control system allowing it an increased hit rate even when moving at high speed or under challenging conditions. Lastly, there is the T-72B3 which features upgraded armor protection, including ERA modules on its turret sides, front glacis plate, and rear hull section, along with Kontakt 5 explosive reactive armor tiles on its turret roof providing additional protection against artillery shells. Additionally, this tank boasts an automatic loader allowing quick fire sequences without interruption while improving fire control systems over previous models.