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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Military Hardware

Publication: Scrapbook
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
T-72s In Ukraine

The T-72 main battle tank is used by both the Ukrainian and the Russian military. However, many of the parts made for the T-72 are manufactured in Russia, and the Ukrainian government has not deployed T-72s to the front line as a result. It's unclear, therefore, how the Russian-backed separatists came into possession of so many T-72s if they did not come from Russia.

Furthermore, the T-72 is a late addition to the arsenal of the Russian-backed separatists. On June 12 the Ukrainian military first reported that T-72s were seen entering Ukraine (and that claim was disputed). The first T-72 of the war (to our knowledge) was spotted on August 18th, in possession of the separatist 'Vostok Battalion' during the buildup to the "Russian invasion" which forces Kiev to sign a ceasefire in the last hours of August. On August 26th, at the height of the fighting, the first large convoy of military equipment, including 4 T-72s, was spotted by videos and reporters on the Ukrainian side of the Russian border. Those tanks were actually a variant of the T-72, the T-72 BM, which is not used in Ukraine and therefore had to come from the Russian military.

Since so much Russian military equipment has been seen crossing from the Russian side of the border, it's a safe bet that the T-72s spotted now, and in such large quantity, are Russian military tanks.

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