Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Ukraine has captured 460 Russian main battle tanks. They have also captured 92 self-propelled howitzers, 448 infantry fighting vehicles, 195 armoured fighting vehicles and 44 multiple-launch rocket systems, making Russia its biggest arms supplier, a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said.
Russia, on the other hand, has captured 109 Ukrainian tanks, 15 self-propelled guns and 63 infantry fighting vehicles since February.
Ukrainians, according to WSJ, have vast experience in operating different weapons in a short span of time. This has helped them in repurposing the captured weapons and using them in the war. The number of captured weapons is greater than the supplies it is getting from the West.
“We started off as an infantry battalion, and now we are sort of becoming a mechanized battalion,” a deputy chief of staff in a Ukrainian battalion that entered Izyum last month, Ruslan Andriyko, was quoted in the report as saying. Andriyko’s battalion seized 10 modern T-80 tanks and five 2S5 Giatsint 152-mm self-propelled howitzers after entering the town.
They also captured more modern T-90 tanks and BTR-82 infantry fighting vehicles with automatic cannons in Izyum. Commanders of several brigades have reportedly been seen travelling on the captured vehicles. This includes the commander of the 92nd Brigade who was seen riding a T-90. The 92nd Brigade played a major role in Kharkiv.
The smaller weapons are kept with the units and larger items like tanks and artillery are distributed in the military.
However, all the weapons captured are not high-tech. Ukraine is mixing them with modern equipment to improve efficiency.
“Gaining the trophies gives us a sense of pride and raises everyone’s combat spirits,” a Ukrainian commander told WSJ.