Russia using ‘obsolete or inappropriate’ vehicles in Ukraine, says UK

·2-min read
Russia using ‘obsolete or inappropriate’ vehicles in Ukraine, says UK

Russia is preparing reserve forces but many of its reinforcements are “ad hoc groupings”, deployed with “obsolete or inappropriate equipment”, Britain’s Defence Intelligence says.

Russia is moving reserve forces from across the country to be closer to Ukraine for future offensive operations, the Ministry of Defence said in an update on Saturday.

A large proportion of the new infantry units are probably deploying with MT-LB armoured vehicles, taken from long-term storage, as their primary transport, the latest update said.

Russia has long considered the vehicles unsuitable for most front-line transport roles, the statement said.

MT-LBs were originally designed in the 1950s as a tractor to pull artillery. The vehicles have very limited armour and only mounts a machine gun for protection.

“In contrast, most of Russia’s first echelon assault units were equipped with BMP-2 infrantry fighting vehicles in February, featuring armour up to 33mm thick and mounting a powerful 40mm autocannon and anti-tank missile launcher,” the intelligence said.

“Despite President Putin’s claim that the Russian military has ‘not even started’ its efforts in Ukraine, many of its reinforcements are ad hoc groupings, deploying with obsolete or inappropriate equipment.”

Russian forces are managing to “raise true hell” in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland despite reports of them taking an operational pause, a regional governor said Saturday. Deadly Russian shelling was reported in Ukraine’s east and south.

The governor of Luhansk, Serhyi Haidai, said Russia launched over 20 artillery, mortar and rocket strikes in the province overnight and its forces were pressing toward the border with neighboring Donetsk.

“We are trying to contain the Russians’ armed formations along the entire front line,” Haidai wrote on Telegram.

Five people were killed and eight more wounded in Russian shelling of Siversk and Semyhirya in Donetsk province, its governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday morning.

In the city of Sloviansk, named as a likely next target of Russia’s offensive, rescuers said they pulled a 40-year-old man from the rubble of a building destroyed by shelling on Saturday morning. Kyrylenko had said multiple people were under the debris.

Russian missiles killed two people and wounded three others Saturday morning in the southern city of Kryvyi Rih, according to regional authorities.

Seven people were injured in a Russian rocket strike on Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Saturday morning and three of them were hospitalized, including a child, the regional governor, Oleh Syniehubov, wrote on Telegram.

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