This week a metal junkyard is exhibited in the centre of Kiev. Thus the incumbent Ukrainian administration seeks to prove “the facts of the Russian aggression in Ukraine”. But in reality they only managed to prove their own ignorance and lack of any military expertise. As a result this show of the modern illusionary art is acquiring no more than polite shrugs of the astonished spectators.
The target audience has already visited the stage. On Sunday it was attended by the high-ranked officials from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Spain, Georgia and some other European countries invited to commemorate the first anniversary of the EuroCoup D’Etat which they prefer to call “The Revolution of Dignity”.
The international media and Facebook pages are full of bravada photo reports about “those damned Russians caught red-handed“. Meanwhile any unbiased and informed observer would raise a number of hard questions to the organizers of this scrap show. Let’s walk through Kiev’s St.Mikhail square together.
Item #1. Soviet-made Tank T-64 BV
Well, the T-64 BV is a modification of famous first-generation Soviet battle tank T-64 equiped with explosive reactive armour “Contact-1”. This modification was invented and produced in 1985-1987 at the Kharkov construction bureau & machinery plant (currently Ukraine). The last training T-64s were completely removed from the operational use of the Russian army by 2011 (replaced in active service by T-72 in early 1990s), while according to IISS’s The Military Balance 2013 report, around 1750 T-64s of all modifications are still in active service of the Ukrainian military. Here is a sample of proud Ukrainian video reporting about it dated 2010:
Several Ukrainian army’s T-64BVs were captured by the insurgents in Lugansk during the summer 2014 campaign:
This one was lost by the Ukrainian army on June 17, 2014 near the town of Metallist. You can see a distinctive UAF white mark on the front wing of the tank.
So even in case the exposed tank was indeed taken by the UAF from insurgents, that absolutely does not signify its Russian origin. But most likely that is an ordinary Ukrainian item out of service taken from a tank overhaul depot near Kharkov.
To complete the picture, we are embeding a video showing modern T-92 tank currently in service of the Russian Army:
Item #2. Soviet-made BM-21 “Grad”
BM-21 “Grad” is the legendary Soviet truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher, developed in early 1960s. It was produced till 1988 and as to 1995, there were more than 2000 launchers in active service of 50+ countries, including Ukraine (315 units in 2012). The Ukrainian Grads were used against civilian population of Donbass since last summer:
Ukrainian Grads are firing at Snezhnoe (Donetsk region) on July 15, 2014 causing at least 10 casualties among civilians. Video footage of the destructions is presented here.
Many of these units were later captured by the insurgents and used against Ukrainian forces in the zone of ATO:
Video taken near Ambrovievka (Donetsk region) on Sept 1, 2014 after Ukrainian troops fled the area. Recovered trophies is the main source of insurgent’s military hardware.
And now what does the Russian Army actually have in service:
Item #3. Soviet-made BTR-80
BTR-80, the wheeled amphibious armoured personnel carrier (APC) designed in the USSR and adopted in 1988. The APC has dozens of modifications including some developed in Ukraine in the post-Soviet period (i.e. BTR-3) and even in Hungary (compliant with the NATO standards). It is currently on service in the armies of 40 states including USA (two APC BTR-80 were exported from Ukraine in 2011). Before the civil conflict in Ukraine, there were around 400 BTR-80 APCs in service in the UAF.
This piece of old scrap was recaptured by the Ukrainian military near Peski (Donetsk area), where the insurgent’s offensive failed in mid-January 2015. At that time MIGNEWS has published a photo report exposing the same APC:
As you see, at that moment the APC was equipped with wheels etc., but arrived to exhibition in Kiev totally dismantled. So it seems that those 8 wheels were exactly what the UAF were lacking for total peremoga (victory).
Item #4. ZIL-131 Mobile Command Unit of the KUNG-type
Please take note of the Soviet quality mark on board which means that this vehicle was made in the USSR.
The military truck ZIL-131 was introduced in 1966 and used by the Soviet Army with a variety of modules. This exact sample is the so-called Mobile Command Unit. There were certainly a lot of such vehicles left in Ukraine after the collapse of USSR.
The Russian Army currently use a bit different type of trucks, which should look something like that:
Item #5. Daewoo Nexia
Well, this is the most surprising item. A burnt Daewoo Nexia assembled in Uzbekistan. Not a single car of this model is or has ever been in service in the Russian army. Most likely that is one of the civilian cars ruthlessly gunned down by the Ukrainian military on the road to Russia last summer:
In early August 2014 the Ukrainian troops were firing and burning every car leaving Donetsk in direction to the Russian border. One of the victims was the Russian journalist Andrey Stenin.
A refugee family of three gunned down by the UAF in the car near Gorlovka, Donetsk region.
One more victim car.
Item #6. UAV Granat-4
Ok, this is a serious weapon indeed. A “brand new” unmanned aereal vehicle “Granat-4” is actually in service of the Russian army. It is normally used for tactical reconnaissance within the range 100 km. The device presented in Kiev was produced in 2009 and downed by the UAF on Nov. 29, 2014 near Shchastie (Lugansk region), 30 km off the Russian border. Frankly we do not see any problem that the Russain military is closely monitoring a conflict in the vicinity of its borders. Anyway, the range of this UAV has allowed the Russians to operate it from the Russian territory.
Item #7. Dragunov sniper rifle
Now, another ancient sample: Dragunov Sniper Rifle (SVD), modelled in Soviet Union in 1963, is a semi-automatic rifle chambered in 7.62×54mmR. The rifle is still in service in Russia and 30+ other countries, including all post-Soviet states, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Turkey, India, China etc. Below is the photo of a Ukrainian marine with SVD in hands during the exercise held in 2003 on the western coast of Scotland.
Item #8. Personal belongings
What do we see here? A handful of cossack’s chevrons (of the Lugansk and All-Don cossack districts, unofficial paramilitary units based in both Russia and Ukraine), which are easily available in every market in Southern Russia. Cossack credentials (documents of the same sort, which are not officially accepted in Russia as valid for personal identification). 1 passport cover (on sale in any metro station in Moscow). Moreover, Russian servicemen do not have passports on hands. 1 military service card (any male Russian citizen liable to military service has such document regardless of his age). 1 driving licence issued in Moscow in 2010, name undisclosed (any Ukrainian who had a working permit in Russia could obtain it). And finally the jewel, the most imputing evidence – a token of the Federal Tax Police Service of the Russian Federation. Of course that means that all former officers of that service, dissolved in 2003, are sent to fight the Ukrainian army in the East with the old tokens in pockets!
Ok, the conclusion of this grotesque exhibition in Kiev is simple: the incumbent Ukrainian authorities do not have a single serious evidence proving thier hysterical claims about “the Russian aggression in Ukraine”. Both their internal and external policies are false and based on deliberate lies and erroneous presumptions. Being unable to change the bellicose rhytoric, president Poroshenko’s regime is rapidly sliding into total collapse.