Ukrainian soldiers have said that the war is almost like being in a western but instead of cowboys packing Colts and Winchesters, they are packing these American-made Stinger missiles.
The footage, obtained from the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, shows a Ukrainian soldier handling an American-made Stinger missile launcher before the footage shows another soldier loading an American belt-fed M240 machine gun with 7.62-calibre, M13 link ammunition.
‘M13’ can be seen on the box of ammo. ‘M13 link’ is a US military designation for a metallic, disintegrating link that is designed for belt-fed firearms that take 7.62-calibre rounds.
The footage then shows an SPG-9 anti-tank grenade launcher mounted on a tripod. SPG-9s were first developed in the Soviet Union.
The footage was obtained from the Territorial Defence Forces on Tuesday, 12th July, along with a statement saying: “This video is almost a real western.
“But instead of cowboys in it – fighters of the Territorial Defence Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“And instead of Winchesters and Colts – stingers and machine guns.
“See what the Zaporizhian brigade of the Territorial Defence Forces is fighting for.”
The images and the sentiment were also relayed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as by the Regional Directorate of Territorial Defence Forces ‘East’ and the Zaporizhzhia Separate Territorial Defense Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The latter feature in the footage.
The Deputy Commander of the 110th Battalion of the Zaporizhzhia Separate Territorial Defence Brigade, who was not named but whose nickname is ‘Starichok’, said: “Soldiers of the 110th Brigade of the Zaporizhzhya Military District are masterful with the weapons received from foreign partners: the M240 machine gun, the Stinger MANPADS system, and the SPG-9 anti-tank grenade launcher.
“The American MANPADS ‘Stinger’ allows you to hit air targets at a distance of up to 7 kilometres.
“The soldiers of the Zaporizhia brigade of the Territorial Defence Forcesare also armed with the American M240 machine gun. Its aiming range is 1.5 kilometres.
“Also, our defenders mastered the SPG-9 anti-tank grenade launcher. Day and night vision sights are included with it. The damage range is up to 4 kilometres.
“This weapon came to us from Poland, it is an SPG-9. Starting with armoured personnel carriers and ending with tanks. That is, it will break through the tank from the side.”
The United States has supplied a large number of Stinger missiles to Ukraine and the Defense Department is now accelerating the speed at which it produces them.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24th February in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation”. Today marks the 140th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between 24th February and 13th July, Russia had lost about 37,570 personnel, 1,649 tanks, 3,832 armoured combat vehicles, 839 artillery units, 247 multiple launch rocket systems, 109 air defence systems, 217 warplanes, 188 helicopters, 678 drones, 155 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,704 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 67 units of special equipment.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that Russia “doesn’t have the courage” to admit defeat. He has also mocked Russia for apparently relying on ageing weaponry. He also said that the outcome of the war was certain, thanks to the unity of his people and the strength of Ukraine’s military forces.
Grain shipments via the River Danube have increased, with a canal being reopened. An increased number of foreign ships are now able to reach Ukrainian ports to help export grain. Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Vaskov has said that the number of foreign ships has doubled. Ukraine has also reopened a decommissioned port.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has hinted at plans to put together a “million-strong army” equipped with NATO weaponry to fight Russian troops, but the comments have been viewed more as a rallying cry than a concrete plan.
Reznikov has said that Western weaponry needs to be delivered to Ukraine faster. He said that for every day that they have to wait for howitzers to arrive, they can lose up to 100 soldiers.
The US Treasury announced on Tuesday that it was sending an additional USD 1.7 billion in economic aid to Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to visit Iran next week to hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meeting comes as the US accuses Iran of preparing to provide Russia with hundreds of military drones for use in Ukraine.
Germany and the Czech Republic have signed a joint declaration, vowing to overcome their dependency on Russian fossil fuels and to speed up the transition to low-carbon energy.
Putin has signed a decree that makes it easier for Ukrainian citizens to acquire Russian citizenship.