Ukraine War: Soldiers gossip about German tank howitzer

Ukraine War – Voices and Developments: In constant action, Ukrainian soldiers joke about their German self-propelled howitzers.

Ukrainian soldiers gossip about the German self-propelled howitzers. Russia fires Kalibr missiles at Ukraine from the Black Sea. The largest Russian unit was badly hit in a Ukrainian Himars attack. All news about the war against Ukraine in the ticker.

German self-propelled howitzers are heavily used in continuous operation in eastern Ukraine

Sunday, June 18, 4:35 p.m.: In the forests and fields near Bakhmut, Ukrainian infantry brigades supported by heavy artillery are slowly but steadily advancing these days. The 43rd Artillery Brigade of the Ukrainian Army is armed with German Panzerhaubitz 2000. The guns, built by German defense contractors Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, fire more accurately at long range than the Soviet-era war machines previously deployed in Ukraine.

Overall, Ukraine has received fewer than 30 Panzerhaubitz 2000 (Pzh2000) from western allies, and these are being used far more by the Ukrainian gunners than intended by the German engineers. The team stationed near Bakhmut around the young officer with the combat name “Pravda” has already had to send a Panzerhaubitze 2000 behind the front for repairs, and his mechanics are working hard to keep the second operational.

Her turret shows numerous small impacts from the splinters of a Russian shell that exploded in the trees above the self-propelled howitzer. The complex automatic loading system requires constant maintenance. Like soldiers probably everywhere in the world, “Pravda’s” unit criticizes their device – the Panzerhaubitze 2000 is designed for German roads, not for the swampy Ukrainian forests, the soldiers, several of whom were in Germany for training, blaspheme.

The 43rd Artillery Brigade has dug bunkers into the forest floor, earth sods and camouflage nets hide their location from the cameras of Russian drones. The soldiers receive the coordinates for their attacks from the command base. They immediately start the 1000 hp motor of the Pzh2000 and drive into a meadow so as not to give away their hiding place in the forest with their shots. The huge turret powers up, and four loud cracks echo off the surrounding hills.

The unit does not always know which target it is firing at, it is often only given coordinates over the phone. Sometimes, however, they receive footage from the military reconnaissance units that shows the consequences of their attacks. On the cracked screen of his mobile phone, Pravda shows a Russian battlefield covered in craters.

Military Expert: Putin Deploys ‘Disposable Troops’ Against Ukraine

5.30 p.m.: A study by BBC Russia and the independent Russian media portal Mediazona describes how the ongoing war in Ukraine is affecting the types of casualties. According to the report, it was mainly 21-year-old regular soldiers who died in the first three months of the war last year. Now the typical fallen Russian soldier is “a 34-year-old ex-prisoner of unknown rank.”

The fighting troops are getting older and less well trained, while the number of dead is increasing. The Russian soldiers recruited from prisons who served in the Wagner group are “disposable troops” used to wear down Ukrainian units or to identify Ukrainian army positions for Russian artillery strikes, said Jack Watling, an expert at Britain’s Royal United Services Institute. “They are sent into battle with the expectation that they will die.” Regular units would only be used “if the conditions are right”.

Shoigu demands more tanks for Russian troops in Ukraine

11:34 am: Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Saturday called for the production of more tanks to meet the “needs of Russian forces” in Ukraine, where a Ukrainian counter-offensive using weapons from the West is underway. Visiting a military factory in the Omsk region of western Siberia, Shoigu stressed the need to “maintain increased production of tanks” and improve the security of armored vehicles, according to the Russian army.

The increased production is necessary so that Russian soldiers can carry out the “tasks of the military special operation” in Ukraine, which Moscow launched in Ukraine in February last year, the army further reported.

Ukraine recently launched a counter-offensive to retake areas controlled by Russian forces. According to Kiev, several towns and about 100 square kilometers of land, mainly on the southern front, have already been recaptured. Moscow, for its part, insists that the counteroffensive has “failed”.

London: Russia has Advantage in airspace above southern Ukraine

11:30 a.m.: According to British intelligence services, Russia has gained an advantage in the airspace over southern Ukraine. This emerges from the latest daily report on the Ukraine war by the Ministry of Defense in London on Saturday. The Russians are currently superior in the “constant competition of measures and countermeasures” in combat helicopters in particular, which could use long-range missiles against targets on the ground. The Russian war of aggression against the neighboring country has now lasted almost 16 months.

The report goes on to say: “Since the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in southern Ukraine, Russia has increased its combat helicopter forces in the region.” Pictures show that more than 20 additional helicopters have been stationed at Berdyansk Airport, about 100 kilometers behind the front. The Ministry of Defense has published a daily report on the course of the war since the beginning of the war. Moscow accuses London of disinformation.

Von Dohnanyi criticizes the SPD and the federal government for Ukraine-Politics

Saturday, June 17, 6:30 a.m.: The former mayor of Hamburg and former federal minister Klaus von Dohnanyi has sharply criticized the course of the federal government and the SPD in the Ukraine crisis. “I think the current priorities of the federal government and the West are wrong,” said the Social Democrat to the German Press Agency in an interview on his 95th birthday next Friday. “The priority should be to protect ourselves from the consequences of climate change (…) Instead, we buy tanks for Ukraine because we didn’t help prevent a war that was preventable.”

Climate change is the real threat, “not Putin,” said von Dohnanyi, who served as state and federal minister under Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt in the late 1960s and ’70s. Russian President Vladimir Putin never intended to attack Europe. “He just didn’t want Ukraine in NATO and he didn’t want it on his border. He wanted to negotiate about that, but the West wasn’t willing to do so.” That’s why the West bears some responsibility.

He also opposes calling Putin a war criminal. “I wouldn’t declare President Bush a war criminal and put him on trial, even though he undoubtedly fought an even more consequential war in Iraq, with many more deaths and without any reason, as we all know today,” he said. The arrest warrant against Putin was also “imprudent and unwise”. “Is Moscow supposed to be the only place in the future where you can negotiate with Putin?”

Von Dohnanyi showed understanding for Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who recently described Putin as a “warmonger” at an SPD festival in Brandenburg, who “risks the lives of his citizens for an imperialist dream” and wants to destroy Ukraine. “Olaf Scholz is in a very difficult position because he has to think about Western politics in the Ukraine war.”

He accused the SPD, to which he had belonged since 1957, of doing too little for peace. She had always been a peace party. “An SPD without a declared, audible and offensive peace policy is no longer an SPD,” said von Dohnanyi, who governed his hometown of Hamburg from 1981 to 1988 as mayor.

Military expert: “The second phase of the counter-offensive has begun”

5:03 p.m.: The second phase of the Ukrainian counter-offensive seems to be underway, as military expert Marcus Keupp writes on Twitter. “It seems that the second phase of the counteroffensive has begun: line loaders like the M58 Miclic detonate mines in a certain radius, creating corridors through which mechanized systems can advance. We should soon see similar videos from the Zaporizhia front.”

Putin insults Zelenskyy

4:37 p.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine’s counter-offensive is pointless. “The Ukrainian armed forces have no chance there, as in the other areas,” he explained at the economic forum in St. Petersburg, referring to the current Ukrainian advances in the east and south of the country.

In his statement, Putin emphasizes his accusation that Ukraine is being controlled by neo-Nazis. At the same time he sharply attacks the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, who is of Jewish faith. “I’ve had many Jewish friends since childhood,” said Putin, whose speech was broadcast on Russian television. “They say that Zelenskyy is not a Jew, but a disgrace to the Jewish people.”

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