Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Russia is preparing to use its latest howitzers to counter Ukraine


Russia will soon deploy the latest howitzers in its northern military zone along the Finnish-Norwegian border to counter Ukrainian forces, Sergei Semesov, head of Russian state security company Rostec, said yesterday.

Semesov explained in an interview with the Russian news agency that the testing of the new “Collection SV” self-propelled artillery units has been completed and their mass production has already begun, indicating that the delivery of the first test batch will take place. By the end of 2023. He continued: “I think it will appear there.” (In the Northern Military District) soon, howitzers of this class should provide an advantage in terms of firing range over Western artillery models.”

After the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow accused the West of waging a “proxy war” and warned that Finland would mobilize forces on its western borders after joining US-led NATO.

Last week, Moscow summoned Finnish ambassador Antti Hilantera, accredited to Moscow, after his country signed a defense cooperation agreement with the United States.

A day after Putin warned the Scandinavian country against joining NATO, Finland and the United States signed an agreement to improve military cooperation between the two countries.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement: “Finnish Ambassador to Moscow Antti Hilandera was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry after the government agreed to conclude a defense cooperation agreement with the United States.”

The agreement, formalizing closer ties between Washington and Helsinki, was hailed by Finnish Defense Minister Andi Hakanen as “a strong sign of America's commitment to the defense of Finland and all of Northern Europe.”

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Militarily, the Ukrainian military confirmed that Russian forces had returned to the outskirts of the city of Maringa, while the Russian president saw the liberation of the city as an opportunity to remove Ukrainian forces from the city of Donetsk. He explained that the withdrawal from Maringa was a tactical withdrawal, “it is necessary to protect every piece of land, but it is more important to protect the lives of our soldiers,” as Army Commander Valery Zalogny said in Kiev.

Zalogny acknowledged that Maringa had come under the control of Russian forces, adding that the Ukrainian withdrawal should not lead to public anger.

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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