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Putin's new weapon in Ukraine

Putin's new weapon in Ukraine

They are simply called “turtle tanks.”

The new flashes join the ongoing arms race between Ukraine and Russia, with the fighting on the other side set to take a step forward.

-⁠This has become a robot war, Ukrainian drone operators told the VG reporting team in Ukraine this week.

Because on the battlefield, small things are deadly and cheap Kamikaze drones It has become vital in Ukraine's defensive war against military superpower Russia.

Drones have already changed the rules of the game in modern warfare, because both sides have suffered heavy losses as a result of drones.

Meanwhile, both sides are desperately trying to protect themselves from flying weapons.

Ukrainian drone pilots earlier this week. Photo: Espen Rasmussen/VG

A drone can cost around NOK 5,000, while a modern Russian tank can cost up to NOK 50 million.

Oryx organization has Documented Russian and Ukrainian material losses. In their overview, Ukraine appears to have lost 5,603 military vehicles and other material, including 797 tanks.

Russia lost a total of 15,513 military vehicles, including 2,936 tanks destroyed.

The heavy losses mean that Putin's men are starting to come up with a new way to protect their valuable military vehicles:

The last few weeks More and more videos have appeared on social media of Russian tanks wrapped in layers upon layers of metal.

«This makes it difficult to hit.»

Oleksandr, drone maker

This is what Ukrainian drone maker Oleksandr said in an audio message to VG.

He and his company are building large-scale drones that are sent to the front. It's only been a few weeks since he first saw the new Russian donations.

– Now they're making more and more of them, so this might give them protection.

In addition, he says that Russian soldiers use Anti-jamming systems Which will interfere with Ukrainian drone signals.

Photos of Russian tanks wrapped in metal sheets are now being shared by Russian war bloggers on Telegram.

– This protection It may help to some extent, but it also means that it is difficult to use the vehicle as a tank, says the lieutenant colonel at the Military College, Bali Edstepu.

But he didn't like it.

– The Russians have installed sheets of corrugated tin as well as nets around tanks and other armored vehicles so that the drones detonate away from the hood so that they do not penetrate it and damage the vehicle, he told VG.

But at the same time, Ydstebø points out that it goes beyond how effective the tank is.

– Such modifications indicate that the Russians are struggling to find effective solutions to the problems posed by drones on the equipment located on the front.

Lieutenant Colonel Joachim Basseke of the Swedish Armed Forces Academy didn't like it either.

– An extreme example of finding a way to survive, he previously told VG about the “turtle” vans.

Russian tanks destroyed outside Kiev in 2022, following the failed Russian attack on the capital. Photo: Keri Lynn/VG

Government of the Russian State Sputnik media praises the new donations.

“Russian forces are successfully using T-72 tanks equipped with a metal canopy on top to protect against drone attacks.”

They point to it as an innovation, rather than a demonstration of material deficiency.

last few months Ukraine is struggling on the battlefield, increasingly using attack drones because it lacks artillery shells.

Russia is advancing and constantly seizing new villages. The Ukrainian authorities justify this by delaying the West in not sending them enough weapons and grenades.

This is how Yedstepo summarizes Ukraine's situation just over two years after the Russian attack on Ukraine.

– They have been under defensive pressure in recent months and have had great difficulty resisting Russian pressure without suffering many losses themselves, mainly due to their lack of artillery and artillery ammunition.

In March, Putin tested the training of Russian fighter pilots. Photograph: Michael Mitzel/AFP/NTB

ydsteppo points And also on the fact that the Russians largely managed to bypass Ukrainian air defenses, so many power plants and power plants were damaged or destroyed.

But now the Americans decided to send more weapons.

When US arms aid arrives, it will ease the pressure, but it is questionable whether it will be enough for them to launch a major attack immediately.

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Keri Lynn

journalist

Keri Lynn

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