Russia struggling to repair thousands of destroyed combat vehicles, British intelligence says

LONDON — Russia is likely struggling to extract and repair combat vehicles damaged in its war in Ukraine, Britain’s Ministry of Defense has said.

In a Monday intelligence update, the ministry said that a Russian army facility six miles from the Ukrainian border was created to refit and refurbish broken combat vehicles. Close to 300 damaged vehicles, including armored personnel carriers and battle tanks, were identified at the lot.

Among other “well-documented personnel problems” — such as reportedly using private mercenaries to reinforce its depleted frontline — the Defense Intelligence went on to say, Russia continues to struggle to repair the thousands of broken military vehicles that have been damaged in the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

A destroyed tank rests on fallen trees a dozen yards or so from the shoulder of a tree-lined road.
A destroyed tank of the Russian army is seen at Kukhari village, Kyiv region. (Sergei Chuzavkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett)

According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, Russia has lost close to 9,000 combat vehicles, including 3,950 armored protected vehicles and 1,730 tanks. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has provided little data on the number of total vehicles lost, but according to the Kremlin’s preliminary published data, just 50 APVs have been damaged.

In comparison, Oryx, an open source investigation that relies on photographic evidence to calculate losses, stated that Russia had lost over 2,000 vehicles including 885 tanks and 965 infantry fighting vehicles. Some of those vehicles have remained operational and have been captured by Ukrainian forces.

The steep losses of combat vehicles have left the Russian infantry exposed to attack, according to Dr. Matthew Schmidt, the director of international affairs and an associate professor of national security at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

“The exposure means a higher risk of casualties that will exacerbate the manpower shortage Moscow faces,” Schmidt told Yahoo News. “Add to that the fact that most of the replacement troops will be undertrained and a lack of armored vehicles means that any offensive in the Donbas or towards Odesa faces high casualty scenarios.”