Tuesday 4 October 2022

Russia’s Wars: Listing Equipment Losses During The 2008 Russo-Georgian War

In August 2008, the militaries of Russia and the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia fought Georgia in a brief five-day war. On August 1, South Ossetian forces began shelling Georgia in spite of a 1992 ceasefire agreement. In response, the Georgian Army was sent into territory controlled by South Ossetia on the 7th of August, taking control over most of the city of Tskhinvali. Russia accused Georgia of committing genocide as an excuse to enter the war on behalf of South Ossetia, launching a full-scale land, air and sea invasion of Georgia on the 8th of August.
Despite being chaotic in nature, the Russian invasion managed to overwhelm the Georgian Armed Forces in its entirety. In sharp contrast to the performance of Ukrainian forces during the 2022 invasion, most Georgian forces fled ahead of the Russian advance, leaving many of their vehicles and weapons behind intact. This military defeat came after Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had invested large sums of money into reequipping the Georgian Armed Forces with modern equipment from 2004 onwards in anticipation of a possible conflict with Russia over Georgia's breakaway regions. This included anything from Israeli Spyder SAM systems and LAR-160 MRLs to Hermes 450 UAVs.
The Russian naval blockade of the Georgian Black Sea coastline (in which the now infamous late cruiser Moskva participated) and the capture of the port city of Poti led to the destruction of the Georgian Navy, which was scuttled in port by Russian forces. Despite the bombing of Georgian air bases, the Georgian Air Force's Su-25s and Mi-24s managed to fly a number of sorties before being hidden in an effort to conserve them. Two Mi-24s and one Mi-14 were captured and destroyed by Russia in addition to the loss of three An-2s and three Hermes 450 UAVs in the months leading up to the conflict. Russian and Abkhaz forces opened a second front by attacking the Kodori Gorge before a ceasefire agreement was reached on August 12. Russian forces temporarily occupied several Georgian cities as the South Ossetians began to ethnicly cleanse its territory of Georgians. Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia completed its withdrawal of troops from undisputed parts of Georgia on October 8. 
After the cessation of hostilities, most of the captured weaponry was passed on to the militaries of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Fifteen T-72B MBTs and two BMP-2s captured in a Georgian Army garrison near the city of Gori were blown up by the Russian Army rather than returned by Georgia. Though suffering heavy materiel losses, the Georgian Army succeeded in conserving its most advanced systems, including its LAR-160 MRLs and Spyder SAM systems. Nonetheless, Georgia suffered the painful loss of four Buk SAM systems and five 203mm 2S7 Pion SPGs that it had to leave behind. Georgian Sypder and Buk-M1 SAM systems were responsible for the destruction of three aircraft, including one Tu-22M3 strategic bomber, but Russia otherwise suffered very light losses during the five-day war.
A detailed list of the destroyed and captured vehicles of both sides can be seen below. This list only includes destroyed vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed is higher than recorded here. ATGMs, MANPADS, mortars and pickup trucks are not included in this list. The dates given do not always indicate the precise date on when the equipment was lost and should instead be considered an approximation. The Soviet flag is used when the equipment in question was produced prior to 1991.
For a list of Russian equipment losses during the First Chechen War click here. For a list of Russian equipment losses during the Second Chechen War click here. And for a list of Russian equipment losses during the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine click here.
(Click on the numbers to get a picture of each individual captured or destroyed vehicle)


Russia (93, of which destroyed: 86, damaged: 4, captured: 3)

Tanks (4, of which destroyed: 4)

Armoured Fighting Vehicles (4, of which destroyed: 3, captured: 1)


Infantry Fighting Vehicles (21, of which destroyed: 19, damaged: 2)


Armoured Personnel Carriers (5, of which destroyed: 3, damaged: 1, captured: 1)


Armoured Recovery Vehicles (1, of which destroyed: 1)

Artillery Support Vehicles (1, of which destroyed: 1)


Self-Propelled Artillery (1, of which destroyed: 1)

Aircraft (8, of which destroyed: 8)


Helicopters (2, of which destroyed: 2)


Trucks, Vehicles and Jeeps (46, of which destroyed: 44, damaged: 1, captured: 1)

Georgia (194, of which destroyed: 90, damaged: 3, captured: 101)

Tanks (44, of which destroyed: 27, damaged: 1, captured: 17)

Armoured Fighting Vehicles (2, of which destroyed: 1, captured: 1)


Infantry Fighting Vehicles (25, of which destroyed: 19, captured: 6)


Armoured Personnel Carriers (3, of which destroyed: 2, captured: 1)


Infantry Mobility Vehicles (3, of which captured: 3)


Command Posts (1, of which captured: 1)


Engineering Vehicles And Equipment (6, of which destroyed: 1, captured: 5)


Towed Artillery (25, of which destroyed: 1, captured: 24)


Self-Propelled Artillery (9, of which destroyed: 6, captured: 3)


Anti-Aircraft Guns (2, of which captured: 2)


Surface-To-Air Missile Systems (6, of which captured: 6)


Radars (2, of which destroyed: 2)


Aircraft (3, of which destroyed: 3)

Helicopters (4, of which destroyed: 3, damaged: 1)

Naval Ships (9, of which destroyed: 7, captured: 2)

Trucks, Vehicles and Jeeps (49, of which destroyed: 18, damaged: 1, captured: 30)

Special thanks to Lost Armour.
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