Armor: October 27, 2001

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Scrapping the T-64- According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, by early September 2001 47 T-64 main battle tanks had been cut into pieces in the Trans-Dniestr Republic. By the end of the year all the former Soviet 14th Army tanks, IFVs and APCs would be "salvaged". The Russian group in Moldova will only be equipped with airborne fighting vehicles and medical APCs. The fate of 2S3 self-propelled artillery systems remained unknown.

The Soviet 14th Army had a total of 108 tanks, 214 armored vehicles and 125 heavy artillery pieces, along with seven helicopters. The surplus weapons were stored in the village of Kolbasna, outside Rybnitsa. They are being scrapped in accordance with the Istanbul agreements on the withdrawal of Russian troops, ammo, materiel and military equipment. The operation started in November 1999, with 51 armored vehicles destroyed by anti-tank weapons in the Tiraspol training center. 

In July 2001, eight T-64 tanks, 10 BTR-70 armored personnel carriers, seven BTR-60 armored personnel carriers and 47 radio communication stations were being dismantled. In the first two weeks of August, the Russians scrapped eight T-64 tanks and 10 BTR-60 APCs. A total of 44 armored vehicles (including 30 T-64 tanks) was destroyed that month. 

Supposedly, the hardware that was written-off all had expired service lives, but Dnestr region defense industry minister Vyacheslav Sapronov described the equipment as being in excellent condition and a shame to take it apart. 

In July, Moldovan military analyst LTC Iurie Pantea noted that Tiraspol had 18 T-64 tanks and 120 trained crews, but the Russian 14th Army had 117 T-64s and only 30 crews. Tiraspol was relying on the remaining 87 tanks, which would have further destabilized the situation with Chisinau. The Trans-Dniestr Republic had 18 T-64s, 80 BMPs, BMDs and BTRs while Moldova had only BTRs. - Adam Geibel

 


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