Putin humilation as Russia reduced to using 59-year-old 'Loaf vans' on Ukraine front line

1 week ago 24

Vladimir Putin's military is suffering from personnel and equipment shortages as their advance stutters against resilient Ukrainian armed forces.

By Christopher Sharp, News Reporter

15:12, Tue, Jun 11, 2024 | UPDATED: 15:13, Tue, Jun 11, 2024

A UAZ-452 'Loaf van' in Ukraine

Putin's army has been forced to use 59-year-old UAZ-452s in Ukraine (Image: Forces.Net)

Vladimir Putin’s forces are now reduced to using 59-year-old ‘Loaf vans’ as their main resupply vehicles because of a shortage of suitable vehicles, it has been reported.

Footage from the Russian frontline and drones on the battlefield shows the ancient buses, officially known as UAZ-452s, being used to transport soldiers to the front.

The vans - colloquially referred to as Bukhanka which translated into English roughly means loaf – are referred to as such because of their resemblance to a loaf of bread.

Their design dates all the way back to 1965, but despite their age, they are being called into service because of how few armoured troop carriers Russia has at its disposal.

A UAZ-452 on depositing troops on the frontline

The Loaf vans are good off-road but slow and unarmoured (Image: Forces.Net)

Forces.Net reported that whilst the Bukhanka are set to be replaced by Chinese-built Desert Cross all-terrain vehicles in the future, they are all Russia has in the meantime.

Footage shared online shows the brutal conditions inside the aging vans which are powered by 2.7 engines sending 112bhp to all four wheels. Soldiers can be seen bouncing around inside as the van makes its way over rough ground.

An able off-roader, the Bukhanka is slow, thin-skinned and therefore vulnerable to drone attacks. Alongside footage of operating Bukhankas, other clips show multiple burnt-out vans and even an abandoned van adorned with Russian Zs being rammed by a Ukrainian tank.

The extensive use of the Bukhanka is one symptom of a Russian military suffering from crippling shortages preventing it from making major advances towards the city of Kharkiv.

However, a report from the Institute for the Study of War suggested last month that this would be unlikely because Putin has a shortage not of munitions, but men.

In a statement last month, the think-tank said: “The Russian Northern Grouping of Forces likely also lacks the quantity of personnel required to conduct an operation as ambitious as the seizure of Kharkiv City successfully.

"Russian opposition outlet Verstka reported in March 2024, citing a Kremlin source, that the Russian military assesses that it needs 300,000 additional personnel (roughly 60 percent of the approximately 510,000 personnel Russian forces currently have in Ukraine) in order to launch an operation to encircle Kharkiv City.”

Earlier this month, Presidetn Voldoymyre Zelensky confirmed on social media that the Russian military had failed to take Kharkiv. On Instagram, he wrote: “A significant outcome is that the Russian army has failed to execute their Kharkiv operation.

“We are currently restraining them to the best of our ability, destroying Russian units that enter our land and terrorise the Kharkiv region. The direction is reinforced. And it will be reinforced even more.”

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