Thursday, January 17, 2019

Russian tank crews fear Ukraine’s new Javelin missiles

via KyivPost.
Russian tank commanders are allegedly refusing to deploy their armored vehicles against Ukrainian forces in the country’s eastern Donbas region for fear of Ukraine’s new Javelin anti-tank missiles, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Jan. 15.

Poroshenko, speaking to reporters and members of the public during an event in Ukraine’s northwestern Volyn Oblast, said that the new weapons were having their desired, deterrent effect.

Since the Ukrainian army took possession of 210 of the American-made, vehicle-busting missiles, Russian tank crews have been refusing to risk their lives and equipment, he claimed, saying the weapons were having a “psychological” effect.

“We’re not seeing tank attacks now. This is the effect of only one type of weapon,” Poroshenko said, referring to the Javelin missiles, as reported by the UNIAN news agency.

Toward the end of 2017, as Ukraine entered its third year in defending itself against Russian hybrid warfare in the country’s east, the United States approved the sale of lethal weaponry to Ukraine.

In March 2018, the U.S. State Department approved export licenses for 210 missiles and 37 launchers worth an estimated $47 million. American soldiers provided training to the Ukrainian armed forces before they could be deployed.

Ukrainian soldiers began testing the weapons in May, 2018. However, according to previous statements by Ukrainian and U.S. officials, the weapons are not deployed on the front lines, but are kept in areas deep in the rear defensive zone, to be used only if a Russian armored offensive attempts to break through the forward lines.

The Javelin is a man-portable, fire-and-forget missile system that uses infrared guidance to hone in on a target, usually an armored vehicle but sometimes used against fortified positions too. The American-made weapon is now used by 22 countries, all U.S. allies.

Russian-supplied tanks and heavy weapons are still present in the Donbas, although these days they appear to be safely removed from the contact line where Ukrainian armed forces exchange fire with rebels and Russian proxies on a near daily basis, despite ceasefire agreements.

On Jan. 13, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, said that an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by its Special Monitoring Mission, or SMM, spotted 21 tanks parked at a “training area” near Ternove, some 57 kilometers east of Donetsk.

On Jan. 10, the SMM said its aerial vehicles had spotted five tanks parked in another so-called training area some 40 kilometers north-east of Donetsk – areas not under Ukrainian control.
This sorta sounds like a bit of bluster.  The Russians have been in Syria and have a good idea on how the Javelin works. 

But what if this is true?

Nah...but it does sound good.

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