French train loaded with heavy artillery on its way to Ukraine
PARIS ($1=0.97 Euros) — Military aid to Ukraine continues. France, one of the most active European countries helping Ukraine, is sending a new batch of weapons to the Ukrainian armed forces. Earlier today, the Minister of Defense of France, Mr. Sebastien Lecornu announced that his country is ready to send self-propelled howitzers and armored personnel carriers.
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Lecornu’s statement was made after the government in Paris was ready with the quantities and weapons systems to send. It is about 20 ACMAT Bastion armored personnel carriers and up to a dozen additional CAESAR self-propelled howitzers.
Later in the day, a video emerged from a French railway security camera that captured a train loaded with CAESAR SPHs and ACMAT Bastion APCs. It is not clear whether the video is from today [November 14th] and whether it concerns today’s announced military aid.
Rail and air transport have become congested in the past nine months since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. There are several distribution centers and depots in Europe for receiving donated weapons for Ukraine. One of the largest is in Stuttgart. Most likely, however, the French train travels directly to Poland. From there, the weapon systems will be handed over to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Continued deliveries of heavy weapons to Ukraine suggest that Kyiv will continue its counteroffensive actions in eastern Ukraine. After they regained control over the key city of Kherson and actually a river [Dnieper] separates the two warring armies, a regrouping of the Ukrainian troops and a renewal of fighting is expected.
Some key deliveries that have been announced in recent weeks signal that Ukraine is ready not only to regain temporarily occupied areas from Russia this year but also those in 2014, such as Crimea.
The US is ready to deliver new HAWK anti-aircraft missile systems. Italy is considering the donation of the SAMP/T air defense systems, but there it seems that the decision will depend on France. Japan is ready to review its arms donation principles and rules, which until now have prevented easy arms exports. Japan is said to be able to provide the Ukrainian military with its Type 91 surface-to-air MANPADS.
In addition to Washington guaranteeing more supplies of the anti-aircraft systems NASAMS, last but not least, there are more and more voices “in favor” of the supply of Western combat aviation. The latest “rumors” stemmed from a report by the Royal United Services Institute [RUSI], whose analysis showed that the Swedish SAAB Gripen would be an excellent counter to the Russian Su-30 and Su-35.
In addition to the promised [and apparently sent already today self-propelled howitzers and armored personnel carriers], France only a month ago delivered to Ukraine the CROTALE air defense system.
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