Blown up on mines, hit with artillery or obliterated by anti-tank missiles, the charred hulks of Russian armored vehicles now litter farm fields all about Vuhledar, according to Ukrainian military drone footage. Ukraine’s military said Russia had lost at least 130 tanks and armored personnel carriers in the battle. That figure could not be independently verified. Ukraine does not disclose how many weapons it loses.
Lack of expertise also bedeviled the Russians. Many of their most elite units had been left in shambles from earlier fighting. Their spots were filled with newly conscripted soldiers, unschooled in Ukraine’s tactics for ambushing columns. In one indication that Russia is running short of experienced tank commanders, Ukrainian soldiers said they captured a medic who had been reassigned to operate a tank.