German Self-Propelled Howitzer Spotted in Eastern Ukraine – Video

© Photo : Screengrab of Bild videoPanzerhaubitze 2000 hidden somewhere in a wooded area of Ukraine. Screengrab of Bild report.
Panzerhaubitze 2000 hidden somewhere in a wooded area of Ukraine. Screengrab of Bild report. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.06.2022
German heavy armor hasn’t been deployed in Ukraine to target Russian forces since Operation Bagration, the 1944 Soviet strategic offensive which kicked Nazi forces out of western Ukraine for good and drove them deep into Poland.
Bild reporter Paul Ronzheimer has filmed footage of a German Panzerhaubitze 2000 155mm self-propelled howitzer operating in a “secret position” in eastern Ukraine.
The footage showed the howitzer sitting silently in dense foliage, with the accompanying description explaining that “after they shoot, Ukrainian soldiers change position not to get targeted by Russians trying to hunt down [the] modern Western weapons.”
Ronzheimer also tweeted a few photographs of the system, including its operators, and a “special greeting” emblazoned on the front reading “Welcome to Ukraine B****” in the gold and blue colors of the Ukrainian flag, with several letters appearing to have fallen off.
In a report accompanying the tweets, Bild clarified that the system’s operators include a 26-year-old Ukrainian soldier named Ruslan, who has used it to fire on Russian positions. “We thought we would learn how to operate it in ten days, but it took us 36 days,” he said. According to Bild, the system has been in use for “a few days now” since its delivery to the country last week.
Ruslan expressed gratitude to Chancellor Olaf Scholz “and the German people” for the weapon, and said the “very sophisticated” howitzer was “as good as three of the old Soviet systems we used before. The Russians have superiority in artillery warfare and with their weapons, but we hope to be able to change that with further deliveries. We need more.”
Bild took note of the fact that the Panzerhaubitze 2000 was the first piece of German heavy military equipment to be used to target on Russian forces since the Second World War.
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Introduced into service with the Bundeswehr in the late 1990s, the system is capable of firing up to six shots per minute, with its accuracy rated at up to 67 kilometers, depending on the projectile used.
Germany promised to deliver seven Panzerhaubitze 2000s from its active duty inventory of 108, along with 10,000 155 mm artillery shells, spare parts and training. The system is the first of a series of heavy weapons promised to Kiev by Berlin, with others including 50 refurbished Flakpanzer Gepard anti-aircraft tanks, and the IRIS-T medium-range air defense system.
Last week, responding to Ukrainian claims that Berlin wasn’t delivering on its promised weapons, Chancellor Scholz suggested that some people “underestimate the complexity of the matter,” and that “anyone who thinks that weapons of war are available like cars from a dealer is wrong.”
The Russian military has promised to continue its air and missile strike campaign to destroy Western equipment flowing into Ukraine, whether in large depots, in transit or on the battlefield.
Earlier this month, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute senior researcher Siemon Wezeman told Sky News that Western arms sent to Ukraine “may end up disappearing into the black market,” and that the risks of this are high, given that Kiev “isn’t in full control of its territory” and that it’s difficult to track the weapons once they are delivered.
German soldiers load armored vehicles of the type Marder on a train at the troop exercise area in Grafenwoehr, southern Germany, on February 21, 2017. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.06.2022
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