Espreso. Global

Ukrainian drone production prospects, work of Ukrainian Armed Forces artillery near Bakhmut. Military expert Serhiy Zgurets

1 June, 2023 Thursday

In some parts of the frontline, the fighting continues unabated, particularly in Bakhmut. Despite the decrease in hostilities in and around the city, Ukrainian troops are now focused on gaining the dominant heights around Bakhmut

Operational situation in the Bakhmut direction

After a meeting of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief's Staff on May 30, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the timing and the direction of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ movement had already been determined. He emphasized that such decisions are very important. Of course, everyone has already linked these words of the president to the beginning of the active phase of the Ukrainian army's offensive. It is interesting that American congressmen who have recently visited Kyiv say that the summer offensive campaign of the Ukrainian army will be amazing. We also hope that this offensive will be amazing. It seems that the front line is frozen in anticipation of the Ukrainian offensive. After all, according to the reports of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, 22 military clashes took place over the past 24 hours. However, earlier there were more than 100 or more such clashes.

In some parts of the frontline, fighting does not stop. Here again, we should emphasize Bakhmut, despite the decrease in hostilities in and around the city. Ukrainian troops are now concentrating on conquering the dominant heights around the city. In particular, near Berkhivka in the northern part of the city and in the southern near Klishchiivka. Russia is trying to launch counterattacks on the flanks. Today, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that the number of Russia’s artillery and air strikes has increased. Thus, Russians are trying to turn the tide by shelling. Russians are also trying to rotate their troops in the Bakhmut direction and instead of Wagner troops, they are deploying regular troops to the city. In particular, units of airborne troops and militants of the "LPR" and "DPR". However, Ukraine’s professional and powerful brigades are resisting the enemy. Among them is the 5th separate assault brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Currently, units of this brigade are operating in the Bakhmut direction and are doing well. The main strength of this brigade is a self-propelled artillery division. It is like a shield and a sword at the same time. Artillery covers our assault groups and destroys important enemy targets.

Fighting in Bakhmut as of May 31

The work of Ukrainian artillery in Bakhmut

The commander of the self-propelled artillery battalion of the 5th Brigade, Andriy Bohach, said that his division is armed with 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers. These howitzers are fired with a 122-mm caliber and have a powerful set of ammunition. Its range of fire is up to 28 km. The captain emphasized that with the help of the 2S19 self-propelled artillery systems his unit conducts counter-battery combat. This is the main task of the division. He emphasized that all the targets they are working on are of utmost importance. In particular, these are command and control headquarters, ammunition and fuel and lubricant depots. Accordingly, he said, one of the division's main targets is the enemy's artillery.

Self-propelled artillery system 2S19 Msta-S of the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Captain Andriy Bohach also said that the artillery battalion of the 5th Brigade is constantly receiving tasks and new targets. According to him, the intensity of hostilities is not decreasing. If it does, it is only due to the deteriorating weather conditions. Andriy Bohach also noted that Russia is not reducing the intensity of its artillery. According to him, Russian troops are trying to conduct reconnaissance and, if significant targets are identified, use all available forces and means to destroy them. He emphasized that in no way does Russia have a small supply of ammunition.

The commander of the self-propelled artillery battalion of the 5th Brigade, Andriy Bohach, also said that the division is also armed with trophy models of the 2S19 self-propelled artillery system. In particular, the Russian Msta-SM2 self-propelled artillery system of the latest modification. These self-propelled artillery systems were captured by Ukrainian units during the successful Kharkiv operation. According to Bohach, although Russians tried to do everything to render these machines inoperable and unusable by the Ukrainian army, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to master and repair the captured UAVs.

Prospects for the development of Ukrainian “kamikaze” drone production

Valeriy Borovyk, Chairman of the Board of the New Energy of Ukraine Alliance and commander of the White Eagle special attack drone unit, said that in 2015, state tests of Ukrainian-made attack drones were successfully conducted. At that time, the New Energy of Ukraine Alliance received a government order to produce 200 units of attack drones. At the time, Borovyk said, the production of drones required a lot of time and money. However, the Minsk agreements have made adjustments to the production of attack drones. According to the Minsk agreements, Ukraine had restrictions on offensive weapons. Borovyk emphasized that the same fate awaited the production of other types of offensive weapons. According to Borovyk, a week before Russia's full-scale invasion, the Alliance began to actively discuss and think about how to resume the production of attack drones. However, it was not restarted because the state refused to fund the projects. Borovyk added that a week after the Russian invasion, he began receiving many calls asking for “kamikaze” drones.

Now the situation has changed a lot. The state has contracted and financed the production of several types of attack drones. In particular, the Vidsich drone with a flight range of 30-40 km and a payload of 2-4 kg, the Yatahan drone, which has a flight range of up to 15 km and a 1.5-2 kg warhead. Borovyk also announced that production has been launched and a presentation of a drone with the wonderful name Kyivan Rus is planned. The announced drone has a flight range of up to 700 km and has a 16 kg warhead.

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