​Russia Tries to Rehabilitate the "Terminator" Vehicle’s Reputation After its Ukrainian Experience

russian BMPT "Terminator" armored fighting vehicle is a tank support weapon that is meant to protect main battle tanks from anti-tank armament / Open source illustrative photo
russian BMPT "Terminator" armored fighting vehicle is a tank support weapon that is meant to protect main battle tanks from anti-tank armament / Open source illustrative photo

The russian "wunderwaffe" has disappeared from propaganda media and from Ukrainian frontlines

Last month, Defense Express covered the first appearance of russian BMPT "Terminator" tank support vehicle in Ukraine. Russian forces used them during the campaign of capturing Severodonetsk.

Let’s recall how it was: accompanied by three main battle tanks, two "Terminators" drove up the hills to open fire on Ukrainian positions but got caught under artillery fire and were forced to flee.

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After this failed "debut", military analysts started an active discussion. Russian propaganda "experts" were convincing the public that it was a victory or at least tried to smooth things over so that this incident was quickly forgotten.

BMPT Terminator / Russia Tries to Rehabilitate the
The incident that got on cameras and went viral happened in late May, published on May 27 by a Ukrainian journalist. The vehicle on the right is the BMPT "Terminator" / Photo credit: Yurii Butusov on Facebook

However, after all this time the Strategic Communications of the Ukrainian Armed Forces noted that all the hype around russian "advanced" fighting vehicles has gone down.

Moreover, the military assume we could no longer see "Terminator" on Ukrainian frontlines again:

"Currently, a decision is being made to withdraw all of the "Terminator-2" BMPT vehicles from the combat zone or at least keep them in safe areas to keep the reputation up. Although, as evidenced by recent weeks, the occupiers do not have safe areas anywhere."

The reason for the worries about reputation is how easily the vehicles got damaged by artillery. According to StratCom's data, as of mid-June, three vehicles got damaged in Ukraine’s east in total, one of which couldn’t move on its own.

A column of russian BMPT
A column of russian BMPT "Terminators" in the Luhansk region, Ukraine. May 2022 / Open source illustrative photo

Speaking of why "Terminator" manifested itself in a negative way in general, StratCom press center says:

"Due to its large mass and clumsiness, [the vehicle] was constantly under the threat of artillery strikes, and what damaged it was the artillery shells. The cover it provided for tank groups was mediocre, taking into account the specifics of combat operations and the capabilities of BPMT weapons."

Defense Express note: StratCom makes a questionable statement speaking of the model spotted on the frontlines as "Terminator-2" (BMPT-72) instead of just "Terminator" (BMPT), since, as we explained, the former exists only in the "for display" variant, while the latter was actually adopted by russian army – about ten units without data of any serial production.

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