Skip to main content


Ukraine captures Russia’s most advanced tank

The T-90M was found in territory seized during Ukraine’s counter-offensive.

The T-90M, the Russian army's most advanced tank, seized in Kharkiv
El T-90M es el tanque más avanzado del ejército ruso | TPYXA News English/Twitter

September 20, 2022 3:23pm

Updated: September 20, 2022 6:33pm

Ukrainian forces have captured one of Russia’ most capable tanks in near perfect condition during their counter-offensive against Russia in the country’s east.

The T-90M was found abandoned with the tracks missing on one side in the Kharkiv region, reports The Times of London and other sources. Analysts have noted the significance of its capture to Kyiv and its Western allies, who are expected to study Russia’s most advanced tank thoroughly.

Also known as the Proryv-3 (Breakthrough-3), the T-90M is a hardier revision of the original T-90 that entered service with the Russian army in 1992. The updated version, which entered service in 2019, is fitted with advanced protection against Western armor-piercing munitions and a system that automatically launches smoke grenades when the tank is being illuminated by a targeting laser, according to Military Today.

The T-90M also features a thermal gunner sight made exclusively of Russian-made components after international sanctions made procuring the Western technology in previous models difficult, according to The Times.

In April, the advanced T-90M was deployed in limited numbers alongside older T-72B3 and T-90A tanks in Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Military Watch magazine.

The older tanks quickly fell victim to armed drones and portable anti-tank weapons provided by NATO allies. At least one T-90M was destroyed in combat, but none have been captured before.

Military Watch called the recent capture an “unprecedented gain,” considering the T-90M the “the most capable fully operational battle tank in the Russian inventory, with capabilities well over a decade ahead of platforms previously deployed to Ukraine such as the T-72B3 or T-90A.”

Russia has a more advanced tanked called the T-14 but it is not yet operational.