I think this is about two things:
1) Having something that reservists can play around with than isn't ancient metal box
2) Having stock of reasonably up-to-date gear to deliver to proxy forces should need arise
Of course I agree that removing it from the inventory removes the 115mm smoothbore gun which makes logistics simpler and cheaper because you can convert production facilities and development facilities from 115mm to all working on 125mm for which all tanks in service will benefit.
flamming_python wrote:Why would you want to spend money making the T-62 into a unmanned vehicle or creating some new automated systems for it?
Russia has thousands of T-72As and T-72Bs in storage. In the early 2000s it already created a prototype remote-controlled T-72 robot tank. It's a considerably more suitable vehicle for that kind of thing.
You could promote the idea of replacing the T-62's turret with something else, sure. Or converting it into an engineering, firefighting vehicle or whatever. But the news is not about that.
As for where to put T-62s - well they can be given a cheap upgrade and then handed over to Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as neccessary. AFAIK all other Russian allies and friendly bordering countries are T-64 or T-72 based.
Using them for the military doesn't make sense - they have enough tanks as it is and more modern ones. The FSB border guards are too much of a mobile, light force - they have their Mi-35s for when they need extra firepower. This leaves the Rosgvardia, which I presume is what's being refered to with the nomer 'territorial defence units'. The T-62 could be useful as firesupport. But again same problem, why not just use T-72s instead?