Frontline mechanic says Ukraine’s counteroffensive relies on captured Russian vehicles.

Frontline mechanic says Ukraine's counteroffensive relies on captured Russian vehicles.

Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Relies on Captured Russian Vehicles

Russian captured vehicles

Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russian aggression has been fuelled by an unexpected resource – captured Russian vehicles. In an intriguing report published by The New York Times, a frontline mechanic in Ukraine, known by the call sign “Hammer,” revealed the vital role these captured vehicles have played in Ukraine’s battle for survival.

Hammer, who serves as the head of weapons and maintenance for the 35th Marine Brigade, stated that without the Russian captured vehicles, their counteroffensive would crumble. Troops fighting on the frontlines in southern Ukraine have been forced to utilize the captured weapons and armor to fend off Russian forces.

The mechanic explained that over the past six weeks of the counteroffensive, the brigade managed to capture over 20 Russian vehicles, including the highly coveted T-72 tanks and eight multi-purpose fighting vehicles never before seen in their arsenal. Hammer proudly declared, “A few days and the vehicle is back on the battlefield. In this way, they become indestructible.”

This resourcefulness in repurposing captured equipment has been crucial for Ukraine, which has recovered more than 800 artillery systems and 300 tanks since the Russian invasion over 17 months ago. Ukrainian military Colonel Oleksandr Saruba, working at a military center that analyzes captured weaponry, revealed that Russia is even competing with Western countries to supply weapons to Ukraine.

However, the reliance on Russian captured vehicles comes with its challenges. Some of these vehicles are designed exclusively for Russian forces, making it difficult for Ukraine to fully utilize them. Military analyst Michael Kofman warned back in March that despite capturing a significant number of vehicles on paper, Ukraine lacks the necessary parts to keep them operational.

“So, on paper, you may capture a lot of vehicles, but you don’t have the engines, you don’t have the transmissions, you don’t have the parts to keep them going,” Kofman explained during a Carnegie Endowment event.

Despite these setbacks, Ukrainian mechanics are tirelessly working on the frontlines to promptly fix and convert these captured vehicles. Their resourcefulness and determination have been instrumental in Ukraine’s ability to sustain its counteroffensive against Russian forces.

The use of captured Russian vehicles not only showcases the resilience of Ukrainian troops but also highlights the innovation and adaptability in the face of adversity. This situation also emphasizes the complexities of warfare, with shifting dynamics where enemies can become allies, albeit reluctantly.

As Ukraine continues to battle against Russian aggression, the utilization of captured equipment serves as a symbol of defiance and a reminder that ingenuity can sometimes be the ultimate weapon. The story of Hammer and the 35th Marine Brigade is a testament to the indomitable spirit of those fighting for their homeland’s freedom, bringing hope and inspiration to a nation in the midst of a challenging conflict.