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Russia stops tank production because it can’t get parts, Ukraine says

A Russian T-90 main battle tank. (Vitaliy Ragulin/Wikimedia Commons)
March 22, 2022

The largest tank manufacturer in Russia has been forced to stop production due to supply shortages, Ukraine’s state media and armed forces said.

The Russian tank maker Uralvagonzavod halted operations at the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant in Russia because parts supplied by other countries are unattainable amid widespread sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian news outlet NV reported, citing the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The United Kingdom first froze the tank maker’s assets on February 24 and it was hit with additional sanctions by the European Union on March 15.

An EU document states that the manufacturer was added to the list of EU sanctioned companies because “the T-72B3 tanks delivered by Uralvagonzavod to the Russian Armed Forces were used by Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2022,” Newsweek reported.

Moreover, the EU claimed Uralvagonzavod is responsible for “supporting, materially or financially, actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”

The United States has sanctioned Uralvagonzavod since Russian annexed Crimea in 2014 during former President Barack Obama’s administration.

Russia is believed to have possessed more than 12,000 tanks and 20,000 armored fighting vehicles prior to the invasion, whereas Ukraine had just over 2,500 tanks and more than 2,800 armored vehicles.

The United States Department of Defense estimated on Sunday that Russia has lost 184 tanks and 380 armored vehicles since the invasion began, which the U.S. believes equals roughly eight percent of the nation’s total forces.

While Russia reportedly has an arsenal of aged tanks and armored vehicles in storage, it is unclear if Russian President Vladimir Putin would put the equipment back into use against Ukraine. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) believes Russia has more than 10,000 tanks in storage.

Earlier this month, Russian troops attacked other Russian troops, destroying nine tanks and four armored vehicles in the “friendly fire” incident, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“Just now in the Kiev region, near Severinovka, Russian occupation troops started a fight with… Russian occupation forces. As a result, 9 tanks and 4 BTR were destroyed thanks to ‘friendly fire,’ the ground forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Facebook post. “That saved us 13 Javelin accordingly.”

The post went on to mock the Russian forces, encouraging them to “continue in this spirit.”

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine understand the manifestation of such suicidal tendencies among the occupiers and ask them to continue in this spirit,” the post added. “And we recommend the mothers of the Russian Federation to find out where their sprayings are now – in the lists of disposed occupiers or in the meantime among the living. But it’s only by will. You may not make it up. Anyway, all of them will be on the same list, but in different cellophane bags.”