“This place was hell. They bombarded us day and night nonstop. But after HIMARS attacked the ammunition depot in Izhuma and our unit pushed back the Russian army near Slavyansk, things are calmer here,” says Ruslan Andrijko of the Karpatská Sič unit fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Russian troops managed to remove Ukrainian soldiers from many places in the Donbas region. But now, according to the Ukrainian military, the situation is starting to turn around.
“We hold our positions. They want to cross with tanks. But we have experience with their liquidation. We stop them. There have been five tank attacks, but we have repelled them each time. Every soldier dreams of destroying a Russian tank. Ask everyone here what their dreams are. Battalion commander nicknamed Bell. It says, ‘Destroy a tank,'” he explains.
The Ukrainian army uses a set of special anti-tank weapons to destroy armored vehicles. “We had good results shooting NLAWs and Rippers,” says another unit member.
The author of the report from Radio Free Europe then asks him how resistant Russian tanks are to these weapons. “The NLAW, Javelin, Matador and AT4 guns are very effective against Russian tanks,” the soldier replies.
Another weapon that is currently helping the Ukrainians to stop the Russian offensive is the German howitzer – the Panzerhaubitz 2000 self-propelled gun. “It can fire three bullets in 10 seconds. This is the maximum rate of fire, which is very fast. Range depends on the ammunition used. It can be up to 30 kilometers. If the bullet hits the target, there will be nothing left behind, only iron and dead soldiers,” explains the advantages of the Ukrainian gunner.
Russia has a much larger arsenal of artillery, but the Ukrainians can now respond much better because these howitzers are very mobile, light and fast.
“The gun commander receives the coordinates of the target. It puts vehicles in firing position and takes automatic aim. A gunner is also available to aid aiming during battle. There are two sniper assistants who take care of loading the ammunition. I trained every day for a month and a half to be a host without days off,” says another team member.
12 of these howitzers were delivered to Ukraine by Germany and the Netherlands. “Using a special rack for this howitzer, one load of ammunition takes only 12 minutes and contains 60 rounds. The gun is handled by two sub-snipers,” says RFE/RL reporter Jehor Lohinov.
The self-propelled gun can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h during transport. Ukrainian soldiers can shoot from here and then move quickly, making it difficult for Russian troops to find them.
“First: it fires fast. Second: it’s not hard to handle. It takes a minute to set up, a minute to fire, and a minute to get away,” adds the gunner.
According to Ukrainian officials, Russia is preparing for a new offensive, so Ukraine requested additional military equipment from Western countries.
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Source: Seznam Zpravy