Historical Skins – BMPT-72 Defender


As every year, we’re preparing a series of Russian-themed skins, camouflages, decals and flags for the Defender of the Fatherland Day celebrations that take place on February 23 and the main part of the bundle will be the BMPT-72 Defender skin.



The overall topic of the bundle is rather specific – Buryatia, one of Russia’s Far East republics. Buryatia is a rather small region neighboring Mongolia with roughly a million inhabitants, its territory wound against the famous Lake Baikal. A considerable portion of Buryatia’s citizens are Buddhists with this religion being the most prevalent along with Russian Orthodoxy. Economy-wise, the region is an agricultural one with most of the exports being nature-related, such as wood, food and other agricultural products.



But what Buryatia does have is a proud military history and that’s where the Defender skin comes in because it’s inspired by the 5th Separate Guards Tank Brigade “Tatsinskaya”, a unit from Ulan-Ude, Buryatia’s capital.


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The unit has a long history going all the way back to the Second World War and the Battle of Stalingrad, during which the 24th Tank Corps participated in the Tatsinskaya Station raid that laid waste to the airport that represented a vital chain link in the German Stalingrad army supply line with no fewer than 60 enemy planes destroyed on the ground. This raid directly accelerated the collapse of the 6th Army under Field Marshal Paulus. The unit took major losses during the Stalingrad battle (at the beginning it had 159 tanks but only 58 tanks at the end) and was re-formed into the 2nd Guards Tank Corps while receiving the honorific “Tatsinskyi”.

This unit then participated in the Battle of Kursk, was at Prokhorovka during the famous tank clash and was the first Soviet formations to enter Minsk during its liberation in July 1944. The war ended for the formation in the February of 1945 in East Prussia – it was rotated out of combat during the East Prussian offensive and the war had ended before its return to active duty.


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In the July of 1945, the unit was once again reformed into the 2nd Guards Tank Division stationed in the Leningrad Area. In 1968, the unit was transferred to Choibalsan in Mongolia, where it stayed until 1990, gradually upgrading its tank arsenal from T-62s to T-72s. During and after the fall of the Soviet Union, the unit got gradually downsized until it was disbanded in 2005, its honorifics and traditions passing to several other units until the 2008 Russian military reform, during which they came to the newly formed Buryatian 5th Separate Guards Tank Brigade stationed at Divizionnaya, Ulan-Ude.

From there, the unit’s history gets a bit murky. A portion of the unit was stationed in Syria but some elements of it also fought (unmarked) during the battle of Debaltseve in 2015. After the beginning of the Special Operation, the 5th Separate Guards Tank Brigade “Tatsinskaya” was involved in the thickest of fighting and gained a reputation for being reliable, competent troops.


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As for the BMPT skin – as you know, BMPT-72 is not a mass-produced vehicle. The Russian Army currently successfully uses the Russian service pattern Terminators in combat but these are T-90 based, not T-72 based. We chose the BMPT-72 as a baseline simply because it has no skin available to it to date while the BMPT Mod.2017, which is closer to the actual service Terminator, already has two.


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The BMPT-72 Defender bears the markings of 5th Separate Guards Tank Brigade as seen on several of its service vehicles and was slightly updated to somewhat match the Russian service BMPT – it has a different weather sensor as well as a new box on its right rear side.


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As for the markings, the word УРАГШАА on the upper frontal plate can loosely be translated from Buryatian as “Forward!”


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The tank bears a tactical number and tactical designation of the brigade – the latter was actually quite hard to confirm as these seem to have changed recently and numerous conflicting sources exist so we went with the one where photographic evidence exists.

A large Tatsinskaya Brigade crest is painted on the right side, also something that was seen on a real-life vehicle from the unit. And finally, there’s the letter H (Cyrillic alphabet N) and the numbers 2200. Contrary to what some websites write, this has nothing to do with tactical designation – it is a dimension indicator for railway transportation with the circle in the middle indicating the vehicle’s center of mass. The BMPTs as well as T-72 tanks all seem to have the 2200 index.


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The BMPT painted with a standard Russian camouflage and some elements (such as the ATGM tube caps) were re-painted to their tactical colors (green instead of red).


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There will be other items available during the event, such as:

  • Russian Expo camouflage
  • Tatsinskaya Division Tactical Emblem decal
  • Tatsinskaya Division Crest decal
  • Flag of Buryatia (both as a flag and as a decal)

We hope that you’ll enjoy giving your BMPT-72 the military look many of you enjoy and, as always:

See you on the battlefield!

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