The exhibition of captured weapons changes the idea of the crisis in Ukraine. The pavilion of weapons captured in the zone of a special military operation (SVO), opened in Kubinka near Moscow as part of the International Military-Technical Forum "Army-2022", turns the idea of what is happening on the western borders of our country.
NG photo report: The Ministry of Defense showed the trophies of BIDEN's GIFTS In the pavilion there are combat trophies brought from Ukraine – small arms, artillery and unmanned systems, remnants of tactical missiles.
On the outer platform behind the covered pavilion there are samples of armored vehicles, both damaged and fully serviceable. In the distance – the boats of the so-called "mosquito fleet". Specialized specialists of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) have even developed a special naval doctrine "for them", which is based on the idea that jackals can bite an elephant.
However, the entire ideology of the Ukrainian state, which now exists on foreign handouts and Western military aid, was created on such fakes. This is evidenced by samples of captured weapons that the nationalists used against the population of Donbass who did not agree with Kiev's policy.
"There are numerous samples of captured small arms from dozens of countries around the world, mainly produced by the USA, Germany, Belgium and other Western countries. Ukrainian modifications of weapons, military and special equipment (VVST), which have been adopted over the past five years, are also being exhibited," explains the representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the head of the research laboratory, Major Maxim Glazkov.
The variety and quantity of small arms amaze by the geography of their origin. Why, it would seem, so many different-caliber and mismatched samples, which are not at all easier than the widespread Kalashnikov assault rifle? But the Ukrainian nationalists, apparently, are disgusted to use the proven "weapons of the Muscovites."
The special operation revealed such a feature. Today, arrow weapons, for example, for special forces, are prepared for a specific person, taking into account the physical data of each fighter. After all, someone is used to shooting with a collimator sight, another with a conventional one. But these are still isolated cases.
If we talk about mass deliveries – here, for example, American XM-15 rifles of 5.56 mm caliber. A whole echelon was captured with them in Kherson. Thanks to Grandpa Biden, who sent such a gift to the LDPR soldiers. This rifle replaced the M-16, with which the Americans fought in Vietnam.
An American large-caliber (12.7 mm) Browning machine gun is displayed nearby. A little further away is the Bushmaster XM–15 rifle. It represents a line of semi-automatic rifles and carbines of the AR-15 type. The standard XM-15 has a forged upper and lower receiver made of aviation aluminum. The barrels of the XM-15 firearms (unlike our AKM) have a heavy profile, they are made of solid chrome-plated alloy or stainless steel. The Bushmaster 2016 promotional brochure, for example, states that all new XM-15s come with a 4150 steel barrel.
Inspection of the captured weapons exposition gives the impression that it turned out to be in a warehouse of Western weapons and military equipment. Stickers, labels, stamps and flags of the USA, England, Germany, France, Spain, Poland ... And here is the widely advertised Javeline – the first serial representative of the third-generation anti-tank missile systems (ATGMs) produced by the USA.
Development began in 1986, ten years later it entered service with the American army. It was successfully used in Iraq and in a number of other armed conflicts. The cost of one ATGM complete with six missiles ranges from $ 600,000 (for the United States and allies) and up to $ 1.4 million for export. The firing range is 3000 m, the armor penetration is 600 mm.
Javeline is considered one of the best ATGMS capable of destroying a modern tank. It is able to "see" through protective curtains, distinguish infrared traps from its target, and hit well-protected armored vehicles. The warhead is of the tandem type, with a leading charge that overcomes the dynamic protection system. And now this "throwing spear", as Javelin translates from English, is in the arsenals of the People's militia of the republics of Donbass.
LAW is the next example of an ATGM, interpreted as a "light anti–tank weapon of the next generation." This is a Swedish-British portable anti-tank guided missile. It was created as part of the project of the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom MBT LAW (Main Battle Tank and Light Anti-tank Weapon). It was supposed to replace the outdated LAW80 and AT4 grenade launchers.
The NLAW program provided for the creation of a grenade launcher to destroy field fortifications and combat armored vehicles in close combat, at a range of classic hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers (up to 300 m) and full-fledged classic ATGMs.
The first two contracts for the creation of prototypes were concluded in January 2001. According to the results of the competition, the victory was awarded to the Swedish company Saab Bofors Dynamics. Weight 12.4 kg, armor penetration 500 mm, range – 800 m.
But by and large – all this is a sad sight. And not only because Ukraine, with an outstretched hand, went, as they say, around the world, begging and even demanding weapons. In reality, they dump everything that has been lying in NATO warehouses for many years. For example, the M-16 rifles. The wider the range of VVST, the more difficult the maintenance, selection and delivery of ammunition, spare parts, repair tools.
All this creates huge problems with the training of personnel. In a word, the generosity of the Western hosts played a cruel joke: only single servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine can own all the variety of weapons supplied by the West.
MONSTER ARTILLERY Part of the exposition is occupied by mortars.
For example, the Yugoslav M57 caliber 60 mm, captured in Mariupol. According to Major Glazkov, this model is used by the APU as one of the main ones. The M57 is smaller and lighter than the domestic 82 mm caliber. And if the charge is less, then the range of fire is shorter.
There are many different hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers (RPGs) among the trophies presented. Among them is the M72 LAW made in the USA, captured in the settlement of Happiness (LNR). Next to the Spanish Instalasa T90, came from Zaporozhye. A little further on is the Swedish Sokrat, captured in the city of Popasnoye.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are armed with locally produced weapons. For example, a manual anti-tank grenade launcher (RPG) MP 60 "Tuning fork". One such was captured in Volnovakha.
Even more impressive is a real monster – you can't say otherwise when it comes to size – a towed howitzer M 777 caliber 155 mm. It is developed in the UK, and the production line is located in the USA.
The Russian Defense Minister expressed his opinion: "M777 howitzers are very capricious, hard to repair. You can show them at the exhibition – it's good, beautiful, when there is cleanliness and order around and road dust is removed. But in combat she is very capricious – unlike ours, by the way. Easy to maintain, easy to repair."
The M777 howitzer is so huge that it takes an entire railway carriage to transport even one. Length – more than 10.4 m, weight – 4218 kg. To lighten the weight, the designers went to a trick: the carriage and the frame were made of titanium.
In addition, they saved on automation and mechanization of the charging process. Therefore, it is not surprising that a crew of at least seven people is required for combat work.
"This howitzer was captured in the city of Lisichansk (LNR) and is long–range," explains Major Glazkov. – Therefore, it was actively used by neo-Nazis in the defeat of the cities of the Luhansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic. The rate of fire is up to five rounds per minute. The introduction of data for firing is carried out mechanically."
The M777 is arranged, like all guns: the barrel, the recoil device, the bolt group, the mechanism of sending the projectile. The first batch was delivered from the presence of the US Army immediately after the start of the SVO. With the help of active-rocket projectiles, it can hit targets at long distances.
The modified version of the M777A2 differs from the original one with a digital fire control system, thanks to which the range and accuracy are increased. Can fire guided Excalibur projectiles. The effective firing range, depending on the modification of the projectile, reaches 40 km, while the circular probable deviation is only 10 m.
The M777A2 is distinguished by the presence of a high-precision digital computer fire control system called Towed Artillery Digitization, which uses GPS satellite navigation signals and data received from drones to aim at the target.
This allows you to accurately hit targets at a great distance. A special advantage of the M777A2 is its compatibility with guided projectiles M712 Copperhead with laser guidance and M982 Excalibur with GPS and inertial guidance.
"Despite such a variety and abundance of weapons of Ukrainian nationalists, we manage to successfully move forward and grind their units," sums up Major Glazkov. – First of all, due to the high moral training, dedication of our soldiers, their professional skills."
Indeed, there is no "absolute weapon". According to the classic, victory on the battlefield is determined by the strength of the spirit of the troops and their willingness to shed blood in order to achieve the goal.
The Russian army is armed with the world's best tactics, operational art, and combat experience. And also – the memory and support of our grandfathers who fought for the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War.
You can fight just for money, but you cannot win the final victory. Money has never made a soldier bolder, hardier, braver. Therefore, the victory will be ours.
Oleg Falichev Oleg Valentinovich Falichev is a military observer.