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There appears to be a gradual shift of priorities within the Ukrainian armed forces, now that Ukraine is in default and Poroshenko was told in no uncertain terms in Paris to stop goofing around and get on with implementing Minsk Agreements.
That, however, does not mean Ukrainian soldiers are free from danger. Though the main danger appears to be their own equipment. Four Ukrainian soldiers were injured when their tank caught fire, then blew up igniting more ammunition stored nearby. The incident took place in Cherkasskoye, near Dnepropetrovsk, in the 54th Mechanized Brigade.
But the troops or their equipment don’t seem to be the main concern, not that they ever were. Instead, the main battles that are being fought are over the defense budget while the mighty Ukrainian defense industry offers such masterpieces as anti-tank missile-equipped…golf carts:
Avakov certainly seems impressed–but then again, would he want to be in that thing under fire?
Incidentally, where, exactly, is the missile gunner supposed to stand while launching and guiding the missile?
Ukroboronprom is now also facing competition from a newly formed military volunteer consortium. It will hold an exhibition of its products later in October. Whether they can actually modernize or produce anything is another matter, though they will no doubt excel at pocketing the defense budget.
Not even existing plants seem to be able to produce or modernize much of anything. While Ukrainian plants appear to have overhauled a number of Mi-8 helicopters, their limited technical potential meant that the helicopters do not represent a significant combat value. Notice the rusty engine exhaust conduit in this photo? Except maybe the fresh coat of paint. And Poroshenko standing in front of them. It’s an example of modernized helicopter.
The only “new” Ukrainian helicopters are machines like this Lev-1 [Lion-1], which is in fact a US helicopter bought in Canada and modified using an engine from an Mi-2 helicopter.
Taking something old and pretending it’s new has been raised to an art form by the Ukrainian combat vehicle industry.
Even though they are receiving contracts to build brand-new BTR-3 APCs, they are instead taking BTR-70 hulls and installing equipment from BTR-80s, and passing these vehicles off as new machines.
That the competition for defense hryvnya is growing is suggested by the involvement of the Military Prosecutor General Office which accused the Ministry of Defense of…corruption. Yes, corruption in Ukraine. Apparently the MOD cannot account for 100 billion hryvnya, which is pretty close to the country’s entire annual defense budget… Will this new attention to corruption actually address corruption? We don’t think so.
Presumably trying to salvage something from the catastrophe, Ukraine’s Western partners are riding to the rescue. 30 Ukrainian soldiers have begun training at a non-commissioned officer school in Poland. However, since their training program is only 26 days, it seems the whole thing is a Polish scheme to milk NATO for some funds, and possibly identify/recruit agents within the Ukrainian military to further Poland’s interests in Ukraine.
Other foreign influences last week include the procurement of Barrett M82 12.7mm sniper rifles by the National Guard, and the purchase of single-shot anti-tank rocket propelled grenades from Bulgaria.
Sexy female sniper presumably was not included in the deal.
Information is compiled by J.Hawk