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Don’t Tell Putin: Ukraine Captured Russia’s Elite T-90M Tank

Ukrainian Soldiers Capture One of Russia’s Most Advanced Tanks, the T-90M: Video footage shared on social media this week shows Ukrainian soldiers with a captured Russian T-90M tank, one of the more recent and advanced pieces of Russian machinery to be deployed in Ukraine.

The video footage shows Ukrainian soldiers wearing full combat gear and holding guns, standing in front of the tank and raising their fists to suggest victory.

The video, which was shared on Telegram and later republished on Twitter by the English language war tracker account, Ukraine Weapons Tracker, is only seconds long but reveals how Russian forces are still losing equipment as they are forced to retreat in regions that Putin claimed to have annexed in September.

“Another example of the most advanced Russian tank deployed in Ukraine, the T-90M, was captured by the Ukrainian army in the East,” the account writes.

What is the T-90M?

The T-90M is one of Russia’s most advanced and modern tanks. The first model was publicly unveiled in 2017, with a number of major improvements over the original T-90 tank.

The upgraded version has improved armor protection, using Relikt Explosive Reactive Armor, which is designed to explode upon the impact of incoming missiles.

The T-90M also has rubber side skirts fitted with armor plates, and the tank’s countermeasure system triggers smoke grenade dischargers when targeted by a laser beam.

Why Is Russia Deploying Advanced Tanks Again?

No information was given about when the video was filmed, and the only geographical information provided was a suggestion that the video was captured somewhere in the East.

However, if the video is now, it could suggest that Russian forces are finally deploying the remaining advanced weaponry in Russia’s stockpiles in a last-ditched effort to gain background lost to Ukrainian counter-offensives in the latter half of this year.

Russia famously deployed tanks last used in the mid-20th century to Ukraine, many of which were not fully upgraded or fitted with modern protective equipment and armor.

Videos published in September showed old Soviet tanks, which were taken out of storage, being transported via train to Ukraine.

Ukrainian government adviser Anton Gerashchenko shared the video on Twitter and described the use of such old machinery, combined with new Russian conscripts not being given access to modern weapons, as a “perfect combination, doomed for success.”

The use of more advanced weaponry could suggest that Russia is on the verge of sourcing new advanced tanks and machinery, or could simply reveal the desperation motivating much of Russia’s military decisions at present.

T-90M tank. Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot.

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

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