Russian Forces Seize Ukrainian Army Leopard 2A6 Tank

Footage launched on April 21 has confirmed that Russian floor models have captured a Leopard 2A6 tank throughout clashes with Ukrainian forces. The footage confirmed the car showing to be beneath evacuation from a fight space in a rural space and comparatively undamaged, though lacking tracks from either side. Russian models reportedly needed to blow off the Leopard’s tracks with explosives to get it transferring, with the German-supplied car anticipated to be positioned on show after research by the Russian Armed Forces. The Leopard 2A6 is by far probably the most succesful variant of the Leopard 2 offered to Ukraine, and amongst European tank courses is surpassed in its capabilities solely by a really small variety of Leopard 2A7s which have entered service from the top of the 2010s. The autos type a small minority of the Leopard 2 tanks the Ukrainian Army has obtained, with different Western donors resembling Poland and Spain supplying a lot older and fewer survivable Leopard 2A4s. Each Leopard 2 sorts have confirmed extremely weak in fight. 

Leopard 2 tanks have taken very critical losses since Ukrainian forces initiated mass offensives towards Russian positions in early June 2023, with Leopard 2A6s being among the many very first Western-supplied autos filmed disabled and destroyed by Russian forces. Footage has since proven the destruction of Leopard 2s on a number of events, with profitable kills gained utilizing a spread of weapons from mines and man-portable Kornet missiles to new Vikr-1 missiles launched by Russian assault helicopters. In January it was confirmed that almost all of Leopard 2s operated by the Ukrainian Army had been rendered inoperable in fight with Russian forces, with over one quarter completely destroyed and the rest broken past the Army’s capability to restore them. Overseas Affairs was among the many sources to spotlight on the time that the tanks had confirmed to be “hardly invulnerable superweapons.” “Of the less than 100 Leopard 2s in Ukrainian service, no less than 26 have been knocked out; others can’t be used as a consequence of restore and upkeep points,” the paper famous.

In early January it was revealed by German sources that solely a fraction of Ukraine’s Leopard 2A6 tanks remained accessible for service, with the category’ efficiency in Ukraine each in fight and when it comes to availability charges and repairability anticipated to have an enduring affect on its repute. Leopard tanks have notably been captured on a number of events up to now, with footage launched in December 2023 exhibiting Russian troopers capturing a number of items of Western equipped heavy tools together with a Leopard 2A4. Whereas reviews of fight operations by Leopard 2s have made fewer headlines in 2024, with Western expectations for the category’ efficiency already having been upset, U.S.-supplied M1 Abrams tanks had been first seen in fight in Ukraine within the remaining week of February and within the subsequent days shortly took heavy losses. With the American autos starting to see fight virtually ten months after the primary Leopard 2s did, the category managed to keep away from reputational harm throughout the summer season 2023 offensives however, very like the Leopard 2A6, then took critical losses within the first days after seeing precise fight.

Whereas the potential of additional deliveries of Abrams tanks from the US stays unsure, Spain is taking a number one position in supplying a brand new batches 19 of Leopard 2A4s. Past the difficulty of an issue maintaining with the speed at which Western tanks are destroyed, NATO members supplying Ukraine have additionally confronted larger points with protecting Ukrainian frontline models stocked with adequate munitions to successfully function their {hardware} – a difficulty which has crippled the Ukrainian Army’s frontline capabilities for months and performed a central position in permitting Russian forces to make main good points. 

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