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Power in Diversity: 56th Motorized Brigade Unveils Its Eclectic Tank Collection

The Mariupol Brigade acquired an assortment of tank models. The soldiers of the 56th Motorized Brigade showcased their tanks during simulated combat. In 2022, the Motorized Brigade obtained captured Russian main battle tanks as well.

The Brigade also receives Soviet-style tanks, which are supplied to Ukraine by Western allies. The military personnel of the Brigades assert that all tanks are operational, and their crews are prepared for combat. “Some dream of ‘Leopards,’ while we already have real lions among us! Our brigade’s armored force is always ready to strike the enemy,” the brigade stated. In addition to T-64BV tanks, which were in service with the Brigade before the full-scale invasion, tank operators were provided with T-72M1s.

The T-72M1 tanks were given to Ukraine by Western allies, specifically, T-72M1 and T-72M1R tanks were transferred by Poland. Tanks from this series were actively exported to Eastern Bloc countries and the Middle East. In 1980, the T-72M, an export model of the T-72A tank, emerged, distinguished by the armor design of the turret. In 1982, the M1 model was introduced as a further evolution of the T-72M tank, which gained an extra 16mm of armor plating on the upper frontal part of the hull and combined turret armor.

Salvages Also serving with the Mariupol Brigade are captured Russian T-72B3 tanks, which still possess the Sosna-U tank gunner’s sight with the Catherine thermal imager from the French company Thales. T-72B3 tanks were also outfitted with a new 125mm gun featuring enhanced ballistics and life cycle, as well as Kontakt-5 reactive armor.

The Ukrainian military has also installed additional protection on the tank in the form of Kontakt-1 ERA units.

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