T-62 Tanks - Ukraine 2022
Video on social media on 25 May 2022 apparently showed Russian T-62M and T-62MV tanks that had been pulled from storage being delivered by rail to Ukraine. This seemed to confirm a Ukrainian government report that Russia had been forced to return these antiquated vehicles to active service in an attempt to replace huge tank losses. Russian T-62M and T-62MV tanks are in Russian-controlled Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. They will use them as a police force in the huge occupied territories, not at the front.
Michael Kofmann stated: "The T-62s are for reservist units. Activating them implies reservists will be called up and sent. It doesn’t mean Russia is out of other types of tanks in storage. Those are expected to replace losses in the active force." In the Zaporizhzhya direction, the Russians group was additionally reinforced by a formed tank battalion on T-62 tanks.
This looked like partial reserve mobilization as T-62 trained men were not currently in service. Elderly Russian T-62 tanks, which the Russian army command had previously begun to transfer to the border with Ukraine, are already arriving in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. In the evening of May 25, an echelon with such equipment arrived in Melitopol, Zaporizhia region. The T-62M and the T-62MV reactive armor were spotted in the Kherson region, where Ukrainian troops are trying to liberate part of their country.
“Withdrawal from storage of T-62 tanks is celebrated at the 904th Center for Mobilization Deployment (CZMR) in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov region. These tanks will be used to complete the reserve tank regiment on the basis of the 150th Motorized Rifle Division of the 8th Army of the Russian Federation, ”the international volunteer intelligence community InformNapalm investigators note. They also recall that since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the 150th Division has suffered heavy losses in the tank component.
Deconservation of T-62 tanks also began in the 943rd CZMR (mobilization deployment center) in Noooozerny, a territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea. It is noted that the command of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation forms the first tank regiment of the Black Sea Fleet, completing it with T-62 tanks. On May 23, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that as a result of losses during hostilities, the Russians were forced to remove T-62 tanks from storage. It is estimated that by 07 June 2022 Russia had lost at least 760 tanks in Ukraine, most of them the most modern T-72B3 and T-80 tanks. The real number is certainly higher.
Moscow used the T-62 mainly during the war in Afghanistan, where almost 400 tanks were officially destroyed by the Taliban armed with mines, grenades and recoilless rifles. Taking into account non-combat losses, the Russians lost 1,340 such tanks.
The last use of this type of tank by Russia was recorded in August 2008 during the invasion of Georgia. It eventually retired the model in 2013, although hundreds of T-62Ms were refurbished and sold to Syria, which used them during the Civil War.
It is estimated that Russia has about 10,000 tanks in warehouses, including 2.5 thousand T-62, and this suggests that there are still thousands of T-72 and T-80s that may be brought back into service. Probably, however, many of them are too bad to be renovated and sent quickly to the front. The T-62M will probably go to the secondary pro-Russian separatist forces.
In the fight against Ukrainian tanks (mainly T-64, but also T-72 and T-80), the T-62M will be at a very disadvantage due to weaker sensors, fire control, armor and armor penetration. Tank-to-tank fights are relatively rare during this war, however, and the T-62 is great at firing 115mm shells against infantry, fortifications, and lighter armored vehicles. The T-62M sent to Ukraine have improvised shields over the turret. They have been mockingly labeled cages on social media because they are unlikely to protect against powerful anti-tank weapons such as the Javelin or Stugna-P missiles. Nevertheless, such a cover is not useless and can protect against anti-tank grenades dropped by civilian drones, and such a tactic has brought the Ukrainians a lot of success. The T-62 unit, if not used carelessly, can still be a troublesome obstacle for the advancing Ukrainian light and mechanized infantry.
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