Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Confirms Huge Losses of Russia’s Elit 1st Tank Army in Ukraine

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russian T-80BV of the 1st Tank Army captured by Ukrainian troops in likely usable condition in Trostianets, Sumy region
russian T-80BV of the 1st Tank Army captured by Ukrainian troops in likely usable condition in Trostianets, Sumy region

The Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has obtained documents proving that Russia’s 1st Tank Army has suffered massive losses in manpower and equipment during its operations in Ukraine

That’s according to the information published on agency’s official page on Facebook.

The research and analysis of the papers allowed to establish a list of units involved in the invasion of Ukraine, military ranks and names of invaders who were either, went missing, were captured or sustained wounds and injuries, Ukrinform reports.

Read more: ​Sanctions are Working: Russia Failing to Restore Combat Capability of Units Withdrawn from Ukraine

As of March 15, the total casualties of the 1st Tank Army amounted to 409. Ukrainian forces eliminated 61 and wounded 209 invaders.

"In the first two weeks of the war alone, 44 Russian tankmen went missing, 96 invaders from this army opted to save their lives and surrendered," the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine added.

Within the same period, Ukrainian defenders destroyed and seized 308 units of military equipment from the said army.

Abandoned Russian T-80U tank in Sumy Oblast, Defense Express
Around 4 March a number of T-80U tanks, marked with a red number “4” in a white hexagon, were reported as abandoned or captured by the Ukrainians. Since then till the end of March the number of lost T-80U reached almost 50 tanks with the majority of them being marked with this tactical marking. Photo: Abandoned Russian T-80U tank in Sumy Oblast

According to western estimations, the 1st Guards Tank Army was one of the most elite formations of the Russian Armed Forces. The 2nd Guards Motor Rifle ‘Tamanskaya’ Division and 4th Guards Tank ‘Kantemirovskaya’ Division were considered to be the best equipped, trained, and had the greatest offensive capability out of all of Russia’s armored formations. The majority of the 1st Guards Tank Army was equipped with modern T-80U main battle tanks (MBT) that some suggest were on par with Western MBTs. However, the performance of the 1st Guards Tank Army in Ukraine has been somewhat underwhelming.

russian T-80BV of the 1st Tank Army captured by Ukrainian troops in likely usable condition in Trostianets, Sumy region, Defense Express
russian T-80BV of the 1st Tank Army captured by Ukrainian troops in likely usable condition in Trostianets, Sumy region

Russia started to concentrate its troops on the border with Ukraine since October 2021. Elements of the 1st Guards Tank Army's 2nd Motorised Division have been present in the region since at least 26 October. Additional 2nd Motorised Division and 4th Tank Division forces were identified moving through the region in the following days and are believed to have deployed to a site close to the northern Ukrainian border between Kursk and Bryansk.

At the same time some elements of the 1st Tank Army were reported to have forward deployed to the Pogonovo training ground south of Voronezh. Main Battle Tanks, self-propelled and towed artillery and long-range multiple rocket launchers (MRLs)drawn from the 4th Guards Tank Division and the 2nd Motorised Rifle Division, were reported to had been positioned in the vicinity of Voronezh.

After the invasion began in February 2022,the 1st Tank Army took part in the Northeastern Ukraine offensive of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine taking part in the failed Siege of Chernihiv.

Supposed directions of the advance of the 1st Guards Tank Army within the first two weeks of the invasion, Defense Express
Supposed directions of the advance of the 1st Guards Tank Army within the first two weeks of the invasion (24 February – 8 March)

After 3 weeks of fighting 1st Guards Tank Army had lost 409 men and 308 units of military equipment. As Ukrainian military intelligence reported, at the end of March the 1st Tank Army reportedly begen setting up a repair base near the village of Klimove, in the Bryansk region (35 km from the border of Ukraine), in order to restore tanks from the reserve stockpiles. Later the Ukrainian General Staff claimed that elements of the 1st Tank Army had been pulled out of Ukraine completely in an effort to regroup. After the regrouping units of the 1st Tank Army were seen in the Izium direction as well as in the Slobozhansky direction.

Read more: Russia's Tank Assault Fiasco And Ukraine's Armor Issues (Analysis)