Gazeta Wyborcza: West equipped Putin with arms even after Crimea’s annexation
14:30, — Politics
Austrians, Germans, French, Italians are supplying arms to Russia.
Germany has sent pistols and shot-gun to Russia. Earlier its experts trained Russian special task forces. Austrians sold their precision sniper rifles, Italians – high mobility vehicles, and French sold their equipment for tanks, Gazeta Wyborcza writes.
Deliveries of armaments to Russia by European concerns are key evidence of the West’s hypocrisy. For a few years in a row Chancellor Angela Merkel have been disapproving of Putin, condemning crackdown on the Russian opposition and NGOs. At the same time, German concerns in Russia were studying their own interests. They have earned 40 mln Euro over the last year taken alone.
A well-known company Heckler & Koch manufacturing small arms, exported handguns and rifles. Russia has paid 325,000 Euro for delivered German military equipment. In addition, navigation equipment, spare parts, mobile command centres and armoured vehicles were supplied as well.
Rheinmetall concern had planned to build a big training centre for $100 mln. About 3,000 servicemen would be able to train there at once. After invasion to Crimea the contract was frozen, however, the flow of weapons from Germany continued to be shipped to Russia.
Last week German government confessed that since January German companies had been delivering handguns, shotguns and rifles to Russia with their knowledge and acceptance. However Berlin swears that these are weapons for sportsmen and hunters, and their firing at full automatic is impossible.
But the problem is that Kremlin-orchestrated separatists in eastern Ukraine are often armed like that. And it is not so hard to refashion these guns for serial fire. Besides, Germany sold ammunition and grenades.
Only yesterday Berlin issued a ban on sale of any arms to Russia. About 69 applications for equipment at the cost of 6 mln Euro were waiting in a queue for export permit.
Moscow was also equipped with arms by Paris. In addition to famous Mistrals, an amphibious plane ordered by Russia in 2011 (the contract is still valid, despite Crimea’s annexation), Thales, a French company, supplied night-vision devices for the modern tanks T-90. The same company was to produce onboard electronics for Russian transport helicopters MI-38. Engines were to be supplied from Canada by Pratt & Whitney company.
French also planned to provide Russians with infantry fighting vehicles. Besides, they were to cooperate on designing a new generation of tanks.
In 2010 Russian special forces received sniper rifles HS.50 manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher (Austria). It is the best sniper weapon in the world, enemies could be killed from a distance of up to 2 kilometres from it. Russians have bought 30 items.
This year the Russian army has bought modern field machines LMV-M65, produced by IVECO company (Italy), which turned out to be better than Russian analogues.
Why Russia, which is the second largest exporter of weapons in the world after the US, buys weapons in Western Europe, that is, from potential enemies? That’s because it is better than its own produce, and by which the countries of the third world are equipped by them. It has been demonstrated by the war in Georgia in 2008. A little Georgian army, equipped with the support of the US and the NATO countries, regardless of its defeat, was able to inflict losses on Russia. Georgian air defence systems proved to be the most dangerous. In their advance inside Georgia, Russians faced problems in communication and coordination of their activities.
6 years after, during Crimea operation, it turned out that these problems have been overcome by them. Russian soldiers who took part in the operation, had little radio stations. They also had modern uniform and small weapons. They were accompanied not only by tanks and armoured personnel carriers, but by modern vehicles for electromagnetic warfare supply, which among other things blocked mobile phones and GPS signals.
Russians has changed their tactics as well, and it reminds actions of the US Special Forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. According to The Daily Beast, which refers to a source in Pentagon, Russian elite forces had been trained these skills by instructors from Germany.
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