Ukraine's tank repairmen deal with damage inflicted by Russian drones, artillery and mines

By Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey

KHARKIV REGION (Reuters) - In a nondescript warehouse in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, a crew of repairmen work tirelessly to fix Ukrainian tanks damaged by Russia's vast arsenal of mines, drones and artillery.

“The most common causes why vehicles are brought here are because they either drove over an enemy mine or came under artillery shelling,” said 30-year-old Oleksandr Fedorenko, the deputy head of weaponry of the 4th Tank Brigade.

Another problem are Lancets, the Russian kamikaze drones that Ukrainian soldiers say has been a menace on the battlefield this year.

“We get vehicles that were hit by Lancet or by unmanned guided rockets. It happens often. On average there are five to ten vehicles brought in here each month,” Fedorenko said.

Throughout the war, hundreds of videos online show Ukrainian and Russian tanks being struck by shells or drones, or being incapacitated by landmines. Both sides have lost significant amounts of machinery.

Although exact numbers are kept secret, Ukraine started the war with fewer tanks than Russia, which invaded 21 months ago and has a vast military-industrial complex.

"We have no time to relax, we understand very well the enemy's forces by far exceed ours," Fedorenko said.

(Reporting by Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey; Writing by Max Hunder; Editing by Bill Berkrot)