KYIV, UKRAINE — Photos of the Turkish-made Kirpi [a hedgehog in Turkish] armored vehicle, which was captured and already used by Russian troops in Ukraine, appeared on the Internet. The vehicle is already assigned to a Russian airmobile unit. It came to Ukraine as part of Turkish military aid to the Ukrainian armed forces.
Deliveries of Kirpi to Ukraine began in August 2022. The first batch consisted of 50 vehicles. In the end, according to various sources, about 200 vehicles were to be delivered to Ukraine. There is information that the BMS manufacturer and Turkey are planning to send more Kirpis to Ukraine. Vehicles delivered to Ukraine are equipped with armored protection.
Oryx portal visuals document the loss of at least eight Kirpi in combat, five destroyed, two damaged and one captured. After the recent clashes in the Soledar and Bakhmut areas, these losses are likely to be higher.
Interestingly, the car captured by the Russians has green paint more suited to the landscape of Eastern Europe. The materials with the Ukrainian Kirpi show that apart from a few vehicles painted green, they are mostly in the desert-olive camouflage that is standard in Turkey.
This means that the acquired specimen may have been repainted by the Russians, which was most likely also related to repairs. The fact that this is probably a vehicle captured in October 2022 in the Kherson region [in sand-olive paint] is indicated by the characteristic damage to the armored glass of the driver’s side door. The letters V were also applied to the body of the vehicle for easy identification.
230 mm laser-guided missiles
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that at the end of the year, Turkey delivered additional military aid to Ukraine – missile ammunition. According to reports from Oryx blog analysts, who monitor and record the losses of both sides of the conflict, as well as the armament transferred to Kiev, the Ukrainian Armed Forces received 230 mm TRLG-230 laser-guided missiles manufactured by Roketsan. The Middle East Eye service reported on November 23, 2022, based on two sources, that dozens of shells were in the hands of Ukrainian artillerymen already in the summer of this year.
Stijn Mitzer of the Oryx blog, an armaments expert, said Turkey was the first country to deliver such equipment to Ukraine, even before the U.S. delivered the HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, which first arrived in Ukraine in June. It is not known whether Ukraine acquired them on its own through purchase or received them as part of military assistance.
The TRLG-230 missiles weigh 210 kg, of which the warhead accounts for 42 kg. They can hit targets at a distance of 20 to 70 km. The TRLG-230 is a fairly accurate weapon system, as the CEP is no greater than 2 m and the radius of the warhead is no less than 55 m.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, Russia formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR. Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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