Ukraine War: A Massive Railway Echelon Carrying Brand New Russian T-90M Proryv Tanks Spotted In Belarus

Russia’s T-90M ‘Proryv’, the most advanced main battle tank, has arrived in Russia’s Central Military District in the so-called “special operation zone.” 

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on December 20 that a group of T-90M “Proryv” main battle tanks have arrived for an armored unit of the Central Military District, state news agency TASS reported.

A video trending on social media shows a massive railway echelon with new T-90M Proryv and T-72B3 battle tanks on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

The Central Military district is the largest military theatre in Russia by geographical size.

“A batch of advanced upgraded T-90M ‘Proryv’ tanks has arrived for an armored unit of the Central Military District. The tank crews are honing their gunnery and vehicle control skills. Instructors are training the personnel taking into account present-day combat experience.

After mastering their interoperability, the tank crews will start accomplishing missions within the Otvazhniye (Courageous) battlegroup,” the ministry said in a commentary to its video showing the personnel’s combat training.

According to the Russian MoD, unmanned aerial vehicles control the gunfire as the tank crews practice gunnery with the T-90M tank’s standard armament from protected positions and open areas. Additionally, the tank crews train to ride new vehicles over topographical challenges.

The development comes even as Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the situation in the four regions of Ukraine annexed by Russia was “very difficult” and instructed his troops to protect the people in these regions.

Meanwhile, Moscow continued to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with its Shahed-136 kamikaze drones.

The Russian T-90M Tanks entered the Central Military District when Ukraine requested the Western countries for advanced battle tanks, like the German Leopard-2, to bolster its ground offensive. The German government is yet to decide on the tank despite securing a ‘go-ahead’ from the United States.

While the T-90M is an upgraded tank with state-of-the-art capabilities, Ukraine’s Armed Forces captured this tank from Russia. In September, Kyiv’s forces captured a T-90M during their counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region, apparently abandoned by its crew after an attack. Later, the same tank was fielded by Ukraine against Russia.

A second T-90M was reportedly captured earlier this month in the Luhansk region, which was revealed after the Ukrainian forces posted a video of the captured tank on social media. Contrary to the first tank captured in September, the recently captured tank did not sustain much damage.

Russia lost several tanks during the war in Ukraine’s anti-tank-guided missile attacks. However, the capture of T-90M Proryv Main Battle Tanks has been a worrying precedent for Moscow. Military experts have frequently expressed concerns that this tank could provide the West with critical information about Kremlin’s most advanced armored vehicles.

T-90M Proryv ‘Breakthrough’ Tanks

The Urals Design Bureau of Transport Machine-Building (part of the Uralvagonzavod defense manufacturer) developed the T-90M main combat tank.

The “Proryv” is the most sophisticated armored vehicle in the family of T-90 tanks owing to its all-around protection, a contemporary round-the-clock highly automated fire control system, and improved survivability technology. According to its manufacturers, it is most importantly suitable for operations on a modern battlefield.

Data from Uralvagonzavod indicate that the T-90M has undergone multilayered upgrading and can legitimately be referred to as a new combat vehicle. The T-90M was first tested during the Zapad-2017 military exercise in September 2017.

It now sports a mostly brand-new turret different from a combat module built-in serial production and a more potent 1,130 hp engine. The “Proryv” is equipped with a 125mm tank cannon that can fire modern, powerful weapons and missiles that can destroy enemy tanks at a distance of up to five kilometers.

Thanks to the new multichannel sight, the tank can use its armaments day or night. One of this upgraded tank’s key advantages is the real-time data exchange with other combat vehicles.


The anti-slip coating on the T-90 M’s armor is comparable to that seen on the ground-breaking T-14 “Armata” main battle tank. The new Relikt ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) armor is installed on the MBT at the front and on each side of the turret.

The Proryv has a similar layout to earlier T-90 variants, with the driver compartment up front, the turret in the middle of the hull, and the engine in the back. Its 1000mm 12-cylinder engine gives it the power to travel at 50 kilometers per hour off-road and 60 kilometers per hour on roads.

In the spring of 2020, the 2nd Guards, MI Kalinin Taman Motor Rifle Division, a division of the 1st Guards Tank Army in the Western Military District, started receiving the first production of T-90M tanks. According to estimates, there may have only been 100 or so in use when Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

Due to the advanced features of the tank, the impeccable protection of its armor, and the several upgrades, it is not a surprise that Russia continues to field the T-90M Proryv despite the battlefield risks associated with its deployment.