Russia’s best tanks are stationed in Ukraine, Russian state media say, but they’re not attacking Kiev’s forces, instead firing at them from afar

In this frame grab provided by the Press Service of the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday, September 11, 2016, a Russian T-14 Armata tank is seen at the ARMY-2016 International Military and Technical Forum in Alabino, outside Moscow , Russia, moved through difficult terrain.

A Russian T-14 Armata tank moves over difficult terrain at the ARMY-2016 International Military and Technical Forum in Alabino near Moscow, Russia.Photo by the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry via AP

  • Russia’s state-of-the-art T-14 Armata tanks have arrived in Ukraine, state media reported.

  • But the high-tech armored vehicles have yet to really intervene in the war effort.

  • The T-14 program has been plagued by setbacks in recent months.

The Russian army has finally its top-of-the-line T-14 Armata tanks to the fighting in Ukraine, according to Russian state media — but the armored vehicles so far are more for propaganda than potential military power.

The state news agency RIA reported on Tuesday that the long-awaited T-14 tanks have made it to Ukraine, citing an “informed source”.

But the high-tech tanks are yet to come Get in the action of the deadlocked frontlinesinstead firing on Ukrainian forces from afar, according to RIA.

“Russian troops have started using the latest Armata tanks to fire on Ukrainian positions,” the unnamed source told the outlet. “They have not yet participated in direct attack operations.”

Russian state media TASS The state-of-the-art vehicle used to be dubbed “the best tank in the world,” but the T-14s were plagued by setbacks Reportedly in recent months.

British Intelligence in January predicted that Russia was close to deploying the tanks in Ukrainebut suggested that the vehicles would take part in little actual combat, with the British Ministry of Defense citing satellite imagery of the tanks in a Russian deployment preparation zone.

The tanks, which have been in the works for 11 years, are so new that deploying them to Ukraine would be a “risky decision,” Britain’s MoD said earlier this year.

“Should Russia use T-14s, it will likely be primarily for propaganda purposes,” Britain’s MoD said in January. “Production is likely to be in the low teens while commanders are unlikely to trust the vehicle in combat.”

The decision to introduce the tanks into the war comes after Russia’s T-14 program was stalled by delays a reduction in the size of its projected fleetand hampered by manufacturing problems, according to the British intelligence report.

But should the vehicles ever actually engage in combat, they could reportedly offer Russia a powerful advantage.

The T-14 Armata is equipped with defense systems capable of launching the anti-tank missiles Ukraine has relied so heavily on throughout the war to block Russia’s ongoing attacks, and RIA said this week the vehicles have a speed of 80 kilometers can be reached on a highway.

The outlet said Russian combat crews have been training to use the tanks in Ukraine since late last year.

RIA described the T-14 as an “uninhabited turret” with three crew members seated in an isolated armored capsule in front of the vehicle’s fuselage, from where they remotely control the capsule.

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