According to data published by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, which tracks support sent to Ukraine, Ukraine has received 471 additional tanks since the outbreak of full-scale war, with a further 286 still to arrive in the war-torn country.
According to The Military Balance for 2023, compiled annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank, Ukraine had 953 main battle tanks at the start of the year.
Per a tally by Dutch open-source outlet, Oryx, Kyiv’s military has lost 558 tanks—a smaller number than those pledged to Ukraine by the international community. It has also captured 545 tanks, according to Oryx.
Russia had a pre-war tally of around double Ukraine’s tank stocks. The Military Balance put Russia’s operational tanks at 1,800 at the start of 2023, but the current Oryx tally of Russian tank losses stands at 2,082 since February 2022.
Accurate figures of equipment losses are very difficult to verify on both sides. However, Russia is known to have lost many of its main battle tanks and has had to pull many old military vehicles from storage.
In mid-June, Kyiv said Russia had lost 4,000 tanks in the war in Ukraine, which experts told Newsweek was a reasonably accurate figure that also considered previously retired tanks and possibly other military vehicles.
It is also a much higher tally than that provided by Oryx, which only counts visually-confirmed losses and is considered a lower estimate.
Experts have pointed the finger at planning failures, loss of expertise in the first weeks of the war, poor training, and little effort to repair damaged tanks as explanations behind high Russian tank losses in Ukraine.
This comes in the wake of comments made by the head of the U.K.’s armed forces, Sir Tony Radakin, who told lawmakers on Tuesday that Moscow had “lost nearly half the combat effectiveness of its army.”
Russia “has lost 2,500 tanks and at best can produce 200 tanks a year,” Radakin added.
In a fiery statement, Russia called Radakin’s assessment “lies,” labeling the remarks “propaganda statements.”
Referring to U.K. military aid sent to Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said: “All this British scrap metal supplied to the Kyiv regime, after being melted down, will still serve as well raw materials for the new Russian regions in the course of restoration work.”
But Russian former President Dmitry Medvedev said in February that Moscow must “increase production of various armaments including modern tanks,” in response to Western donations to Ukraine.