Breaking News
Terminator BMPT (Wikimedia Commons)

Russia’s Unique ‘Terminator’ Armored Vehicle Operating in Donbas, Moscow Says

Share this article

Moscow confirmed this week that Russian forces in Donbas are being supported by a unique and relatively new armored vehicle known as the “Terminator.”

Moscow mentioned the vehicles on May 18, via the state-owned Ria Novosti news outlet, bolstering earlier informal reports from citizens and journalists downrange.

The vehicle’s presence is significant in terms of its ability to support urban warfare while firing at multiple targets simultaneously. It also may signal fresh efforts or risks from a Kremlin that has been thwarted while seeking quick victory in Ukraine.

The BMPT armored vehicle sprang from experiences in the Soviet-Afghan War, and from the First Chechen War.

During the 1994-94 battle for Grozny in Chechnya, urban warfare proved the undoing of Russian main battle tanks. Chechen fighters easily lobbed grenades toward tanks that could not maneuver their big guns up nor down at angles to fight back.

The first Terminators were built on the chassis of T-72 main battle tanks. A later version was based on components of the T-14 Armata tank. The Terminator features an array of weapons that can include four 9M120 Ataka missile launchers, two 30mm 2A42 autocannons, two AG-17D grenade launchers, and one 7.62mm PKTM machine gun.

The manufacturer, Uralvagonzavod, geared up to produce Terminators for domestic and export use – including to Algeria, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Peru. Production of the BMPT and other tanks halted, however, in the wake of Western sanctions that were imposed in response to Russia’s 2022 assault on Ukraine. 

“Russia’s two major tank plants – Uralvagonzavod Corporation and Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant – have halted work due to lack of foreign components,” the White House said in early May. 

Any BMT’s lost to combat would not soon be replaced, experts said.

That applies to Russian armor across the board, according to one U.S. official.

“Russia today has far fewer tanks than they had going into this invasion, and they can’t make more because of the action that we’re taking with sanctions,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said last week. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on Feb. 24, in what was intended to be a quick and conclusive “special operation.”

About Susan Katz Keating

Check Also

Chechen Separatists Fighting Russians in Ukraine: ‘The Bear Has to be Driven Out With a Stick’

Share this article        by Lidia Mikhalchenko / Caucasus For many of the Chechen opposition members …