Russia lost about half of its best tank fleet in the invasion of Ukraine, which is almost a year old since it began on February 24, 2022.
However, Moscow still retains most of its air force and may surrender it more actively in the next phase of the war.
This is by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in its annual report, Military Balance.
These reports are usually the primary reference for defence experts.
In the report, IISS that about 50 percent of some of Russia’s most modern class of tanks were destroyed.
The condition has forced Russia to rely on the older model of the Soviet era, as by Reuters, Wednesday (15/2/2023).
A researcher at IISS, Henry Boyd, told Reuters that the production and reactivation of the Russian tank fleet appeared to be insufficient to compensate for Moscow’s losses on the battlefield.
“Their current steel-layed fleet on the frontline is about half the size at the beginning of the war,” Boyd said.
He estimated the loss of Russian tanks to be between 2,000 and 2,300 units.
Ukraine lost about 700 units.
On the one hand, several Western countries promise Ukraine with a total of about 100 units of modern tanks, including the Abrams from the US, Leopard 2 from Germany, and the Challenger from the UK.
These Western tanks have a capacity that far exceeds the older Russian models.
On the other hand, IISS aerospace expert Douglas Barrie said that Russia managed to retain most of its air force.
Barrie said the Russian air force still has many survivors because of its long-range operations.
The Russian air force operates remotely due to the effective Ukrainian defense system.
In addition, Moscow lacks supplies of tactical short-range air-to-surface missiles.
As a result, Barrie predicted that Russia would likely use its air force to become more active.
In addition, Russia is potentially taking more risks to attack any concentration of Ukrainian forces on land.
“One of the challenges from the Ukrainian perspective is whether they have to withdraw significant Russian ground forces or deploy their own forces,” Barrie said.