Russia deploys only ‘Terminator’ tank unit to ramp up Donbas offensive, says UK

·2 min read
Russia deploys only ‘Terminator’ tank unit to ramp up Donbas offensive, says UK

Russia has deployed its only operational BMP-T Terminator tank unit to the Donbas, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reported.

In order to support efforts in the east of Ukraine, the Ministry said the unit has been deployed in order to provide protection to main battle tanks in the country.

Despite the deployment of the unit, the MoD said there are only a maximum of ten tanks available in the Central Grouping of Forces. Due to this low number, the MoD said the Terminators are unlikely to have a significant impact on the campaign.

“Russia’s only operational company of BMP-T Terminator tank support vehicles has likely been deployed to the Severodonetsk axis of the Donbas offensive,” the MoD said.

“Russia developed Terminator after identifying the need to provide dedicated protection to main battle tanks it used during the Afghan and Chechen wars.

The Severodonetsk area remains one of Russia’s immediate tactical priorities. However, with a maximum of ten Terminators deployed they are unlikely to have a significant impact on the campaign.”

After defiant resistance from Ukrainian soldiers, it is thought Russian forces have now claimed the southern city of Mariupol.

Up to 2,000 troops had been stationed in the city’s steelworks but after constant shelling, the soldiers surrendered to Russian forces.

Despite this, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the “backbone” of the Russian army has been broken during a televised speech.

“The victory will be difficult, it will be blood in battle, but its end will be in diplomacy. I am very convinced of this,” he said.

“There are things that we can’t bring to an end without sitting at the negotiation table. That’s how it is because we would like to get everything back, and Russia doesn’t want to give back anything.”

The last diplomatic talks between the two sides took place on April 22, according to Russian state media.

Mr Zelensky said his forces had inflicted heavy losses on the Russian army but would have to “finish” the conflict through diplomatic means.

Russia is experiencing shortages of UAVs due to the sanctions (REUTERS)
Russia is experiencing shortages of UAVs due to the sanctions (REUTERS)

He vowed that the Ukrainian defenders of the besieged Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol would be rescued after Moscow claimed that they had surrendered earlier this week.

“We will bring them home,” Mr Zelensky said of the fighters captured by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

On Saturday, the ministry said Russia was suffering a loss of UAVs due to the sanctions impsoed on the state.

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