US defense official: Russia probably lost half of its main battle tank stock in Ukraine


A senior US defense official suggested Friday that half of Russia’s battle tanks were destroyed or captured by the Ukrainians.

“Russia has probably lost half of its main battle tank inventory in combat and through the Ukrainians’ seizure,” the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallender said during a virtual event for the New American Security center.

Wallender’s estimate, which didn’t provide an exact number of tanks lost by Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, coincides with Kiev’s willingness to receive heavy Western tanks from its Western supporters.

The United Kingdom announced that British Challenger 2 tanks would be sent to Ukraine in March, while Germany said it would send a group of Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev by April.

In turn, the United States pledged to send 31 of its M1 Abrams tanks, but it is expected that it will take longer to arrive in Ukraine.

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