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Russia’s newest army corps lost many of its tanks in an offensive because it simply copied tactics that failed in the past, UK intel says

A Ukrainian police officer takes cover in front of a burning building that was hit in a Russian airstrike in Avdiivka, Ukraine, Friday, March 17, 2023.A Ukrainian police officer takes cover in front of a burning building in Avdiivka, Ukraine, March 17, 2023.

AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

  • Russia’s new army corps is losing tanks at a fast rate as it tries to encirle Avdiivka, the UK said.
  • Its losses are due to it using “tactically flawed” methods that have failed before, said the MOD.
  • The result is Russia has made “marginal progress at the cost of heavy losses in armoured vehicles.”

Russia’s newest army corps, which is less than a year old, is fast losing tanks as it tries to take new ground in eastern Ukraine. And that’s because it’s repeating tactics that have failed Russia’s military in the past, according to UK intelligence.

The UK Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update on Tuesday that Russia’s 10th Tank Regiment, part of the new 3rd Army Corps, has “likely lost a large proportion of its tanks while attempting to surround Avdiivka from the south.”

Avdiivka is a town in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, which the UK MOD said Russia has recently made a priority.

But the MOD said that Russia was seeing little progress there. “Russian forces have made only marginal progress at the cost of heavy losses in armoured vehicles,” it said.

The regiment’s losses, the MOD said, are likely down to it copying flawed strategies that haven’t previously worked for Russia.

“10th Tank Regiment’s losses have likely largely been due to tactically flawed frontal assaults similar to those in other recent failed Russian armoured attacks, such as around the town of Vuhledar,” it said.

A military vehicle drives through an area destroyed after a strike, in the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on March 18, 2023.A military vehicle drives through a destroyed part of the city of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, on March 18, 2023.

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Russia launched its new offensive to try and take new territory from Ukraine over a month ago, but has made little notable gains.

And the MOD’s assessment suggests that it has failed to absorb lessons from the past.

Russia deepened its monthslong efforts to capture the eastern Ukrainian town of Vuhledar in January, but heavy losses of Russian troops and tanks have been reported there.

Videos show Russian tanks and armored vehicles being blown up by mines and anti-tank missiles in and around Vuhledar.

According to the UK MOD, the 3rd Army Corps is the first major new formation that Russia has stood up to support its invasion of Ukraine.

The corps was reportedly formed last summer, after Ukraine pushed the fighting back to the east of the country.

Russia has failed to take any major territory since it was formed.

The UK MOD said that the 3rd Army Corps has been “particularly dogged by problems with ill-discipline and poor morale,” referencing open-source accounts.

And it “still appears to display limited combat effectiveness” even though it likely received some training in Belarus.

Russia has lost a large number of tanks since it launched its invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022.

Washington DC-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies said last month that Ukraine had likely lost more than 2,000 tanks in total.

Ukraine claimed that Russia lost 21 tanks in a single day earlier this month.

Russia has also been forced to rely on older tank models, after newer tanks were destroyed. This includes an elite Russian unit fighting with 60-year-old T-62 tanks.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has started to receive advanced modern tanks from its allies, as it prepares to launch its own counteroffensive later this year.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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