Putin’s army desperate as decades old tanks brought back from Laos

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Russia’s ministry of defense has acquired thirty old T-34 tanks sparking speculation the Soviet medium tank that was introduced in 1940 could soon be reintroduced to the battlefields of Ukraine. Putin’s military has been faced with the challenge of fielding tanks able to compete with the modern armour soon to be supplied to Ukraine such as the US Abrams and the British Challenger 2.

A Russian state broadcaster reported: “Until recently all of this unique equipment was used to arm the National Democratic Republic of Laos.

“All of these tanks were passed on to the Ministry of Defence of Russia as part of the science and technology cooperation.”

The tanks were reportedly gifted to Laos in the 1980s by Vietnam.

The reporter continued: “At least half these tanks were made in 1944 – during WWII.”

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“Despite the old age of these legendary T-34s [they] still work. The guns here are also in working condition.”

It comes after Germany and the United States upped the ante in Russia’s 11-month war by promising Wednesday to send high-tech battle tanks to Ukraine and green-lighting other allies to do the same.

Along with Germany and the US, Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, and Sweden are among the nations that have sent or announced plans to supply hundreds of tanks and heavy armored vehicles to fortify Ukraine as it enters a new phase of the war and tries to break through entrenched Russian lines.

Gian Gentile, a US Army veteran and senior historian with the Rand think tank, said the M1 Abrams and the Leopards would give Ukraine a “mechanized armored punching force.”

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The British government said on Thursday it would start training Ukrainian troops next week on how to use and fix Challenger 2 tanks.

The UK is giving 14 of the tanks to Ukraine’s forces, and Defense Minister Alex Chalk said they should arrive in Ukraine by the end of March.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Ukrainian crews will start their training in Germany in the coming days on German-made Marders, which are infantry fighting vehicles, while training on the heavier Leopard 2 tanks would start “a little later.”

“In any case, the aim with the Leopards is to have the first company in Ukraine by the end of March, beginning of April,” he added. “I can’t say the precise day.”


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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the move to provide Ukraine with modern tanks reflected the West’s growing involvement in the conflict.

“Both European capitals and Washington keep saying that the delivery of various kinds of weapons systems, including tanks, to Ukraine, absolutely does not mean the involvement of these countries or the alliance in the hostilities ongoing in Ukraine,” Peskov told reporters. “We categorically disagree with that.”

“Moscow views everything that has been done by the alliance and the capitals I have mentioned as direct involvement in the conflict,” he added.

“We can see it growing.”

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