Ukraine war: Thousands of newly mobilised Russian soldiers armed with ‘barely usable weapons’ | World News


Many of the newly mobilised soldiers Moscow has sent to the Ukraine frontline in recent weeks are armed with “barely usable” weapons, according to British defence analysts.

The Kremlin declared a partial mobilisation of up to 300,000 reservists in September, but the Ministry of Defence believes they could be using weapons that date back to the 1950s.

Russia’s newly deployed reservists are thought “in many cases” to be “poorly equipped” as Moscow struggles with “strained logistics systems”.

Open source images suggest that the troops have been issued with rifles of a type which could be over 60 years old.

The intelligence update, posted by the MoD on Twitter, said: “In September, Russian officers were concerned that some recently mobilised reservists were arriving in Ukraine without weapons.

“Open source images suggest that those rifles which have been issued to mobilised reservists are typically AKMs, a weapon first introduced in 1959. Many are likely in barely usable condition following poor storage.

A 1971 AKM rifle. Pic: Wikicommons/Swedish Army Museum
A file picture of a 1971 AKM rifle. Pic: Wikicommons/Swedish Army Museum

“AKM fires 7.62mm ammunition while Russia’s regular combat units are mostly armed with 5.45mm AK-74M or AK-12 rifles.

“The integration of reservists with contract soldiers and combat veterans in Ukraine will mean Russian logisticians will have to push two types of small arms ammunition to frontline positions, rather than one.

“This will likely further complicate Russia’s already strained logistics systems.”

The AKM is an assault rifle designed by Soviet firearms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov as a replacement for the more famous AK-47. Experts say it is the most widely used of the Kalashnikov rifles.

It remains in use around the world but was officially replaced in Soviet frontline service by the AK-74 in the late 1970s.

It comes amid renewed Russian air assaults on Ukrainian infrastructure.

Ukraine war live: 80% of Kyiv without water as Russia hits key infrastructure – and emergency blackouts begin

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Smoke was seen rising from the Dnipro hydroelectric power plant after Russia struck critical infrastructure

Over 50 missiles struck Ukraine overnight which is a marked increase in comparison the attacks over the past eight months.

Sean Bell, a retired air-vice marshal, told Sky News Vladimir Putin was striking non-military targets in a bid to demoralise and terrorise the Ukrainian population.

“The irony is, for most of the Ukrainians, this will have quite the opposite effect, it will galvanise their support and harden their resolve,” he said.


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