Ukraine - Russia Invasion conflict

According to information on Russian social media on September 26, 2023, to address the challenges posed by unexploded ordnance in the territory of Ukraine currently controlled by Russia, the DST-Ural factory in Chelyabinsk constructed the MT-1 remote-controlled mine clearance vehicle, utilizing the chassis of a standard tracked loader, the PG-20. This prototype was developed in August 2022 to conduct mine-clearing operations in the Donetsk region, which has been heavily affected by the use of mines since the onset of the war, as noted by Sergei Bytsenko, CEO of "Special-Purpose Engineering Machines."

According to a tweet by Patricia Marins dated September 27, 2023, Omsktransmash, a Russian defense company, has ramped up production of T-80BVM main battle tanks. This is part of a broader initiative where the company has taken approximately 180 old T-80 tanks from depots for modernization. The company plans to deliver these upgraded units throughout the year, releasing them in batches of 20 to 30 units every 40 to 60 days.

According to Serhiy Prytula on September 27, 2023, Ukrainian soldiers associated with the Mutant group, a unit that is part of the Security Service of Ukraine, have employed crowdfunded First Person View (FPV) drones to neutralize a Russian BMP-T Terminator Fire Support Combat Vehicle near the village of Spartak in the Donetsk region, a region known for being the scene of night-time operations by these by these heavily armed vehicles.

In a recent video circulating on the social media platform Telegram, a German-made Marder 1A3 tracked armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) donated by Germany to Ukraine appears to have been hit by a missile or to have run over a mine on the frontline. Remarkably, due to the robust armor of the Marder 1A3, the crew and accompanying infantrymen emerged unscathed.

On September 25, 2023, information shared on Russian social media revealed that Russians had initiated the dissemination of guidelines and strategies for exploiting potential vulnerabilities in American-made Abrams Tanks. These guidelines include specific instructions on where to target the tank and which weapons to employ, such as the Kornet anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). This development came just after the anonymous confirmation of the presence of US-supplied M1A1 Abrams tanks in Ukraine, which were likely to participate in Ukrainian counteroffensive operations.

On September 25, 2023, as reported by The New York Times, a pair of US officials, speaking under the condition of anonymity due to the absence of formal announcements, confirmed the delivery and the presence of an undisclosed quantity of M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks in Ukraine. This revelation follows an earlier Army Recognition report from August 8, 2023, which outlined the initial delivery of Abrams tanks during the early autumn season. The tanks in question are of the older ex-U.S. Marine Corps M1A1 variants, chosen for their quicker availability compared to the more modern A2 iteration.

According to Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, on September 21, 2023, the Ukrainian Armed Forces initiated field testing of the Ironclad unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). This versatile UGV will perform a range of combat missions, including storming enemy positions, reconnaissance operations, and delivering military fire support. Central to its capabilities is the Shablya M2 combat module, equipped with a thermal imaging camera for enhanced situational awareness.

On September 20th, 2023, social media was abuzz with a video that appeared to capture cruise missiles soaring over Crimea. The missiles depicted in the video closely resemble the Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG air-to-ground missile. During this event, missiles targeted and struck the Russian Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in Crimea, coinciding with a leadership meeting.

On September 22, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense authorized the operational deployment of the "ShaBlya" remote-controlled combat module within the ranks of the Armed Forces, as reported by Militarnyi. This combat module is adaptable to a range of weaponry and can be affixed to various vehicles, including small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).

According to Dárek pro Putina on September 21, 2023, its crowdfunding campaign, which commenced on May 8, 2023, with the goal of delivering a Bozena-5 demining system to Ukraine, reached its fundraising target. This achievement comes as a significant step in addressing the pressing issue of landmines in Ukraine, with the campaign amassing a total of 650,216 € to support this cause.

On September 21, 2023, the Swedish Ministry of Defense officially confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have received ten Stridsvagn 122 tanks. This development follows the decision, made on February 24, 2023, to donate these tanks to Ukraine. Preparations for this donation, including the training of Ukrainian personnel in the operation of Swedish tanks, were already underway at the Army Staff in Enköping.

The Ukrainian company STE (Spets Techno Export) recently unveiled a new drone, an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) that goes by the name "Punisher." The Punisher drone stands out as a high-precision alternative to long-range artillery or missile systems, designed to effectively neutralize enemy targets at distances of up to 45 kilometers. What sets this UAS apart is its exceptional ability to deliver precise strikes on the first shot, complete with a reliable prediction of the impact location. This feature plays a crucial role in minimizing the potential risks of collateral damages in the vicinity.

According to Autoevolution on September 15, 2023, a Spanish 6x6 BMR-600 VRAC (Contaminated Areas Reconnaissance Vehicle), one of only three known vehicles in existence, has been identified in active service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Originally designed for reconnaissance missions in highly contaminated areas, particularly those tainted by nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) threats, this exceptionally rare BMR-600 VRAC has undergone a conversion, transforming it into an armored medical evacuation vehicle.

In the Soledar sector of the Donetsk front, Ukrainian fighters have adopted a new strategy involving FPV (First-Person View) drones, concealing them within the foliage and dilapidated structures to set up ambushes. An interview with an officer from the Terek Cossack brigade, known as Sanych, was featured in TASS and echoed on topwar.ru, shedding light on this evolving tactic.

On September 19, 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced the delivery of 51 NM199 amphibious tracked carriers to Ukraine. These NM199 vehicles, which are a local version of the American M548, are armed with a 12.7mm machine gun and are supplied with spare parts. Their primary purpose is to transport essential supplies and ammunition to the front lines in Ukraine. Their amphibious capability should be much appreciated on a battlefield where so many bridges have been destroyed or simply do not exist.

According to a report from The Chosun Ilbo on September 18, 2023, South Korea has recently decided to provide two domestically-produced K600 "Rhino" combat engineer vehicles to Ukraine. This engineer vehicle is based on the K1A1 Main Battle Tank and is designed for obstacle clearance and mine removal, offering assistance to Ukraine in its ongoing struggle against landmines and hazardous obstacles. Although not classified as lethal weapons, these vehicles have the capability to breach enemy defense lines if necessary, making them significant military equipment provided by South Korea to Ukraine.

Photos were published on September 16th on the Telegram channel "Tanks. History and modernity. Btvt.info", showing the Russian army using Ukrainian-made BMP-1U "Shkval", captured during the war in Georgia. These images suggest that these vehicles may already be in active service, although this information cannot be verified.

According to an article by Manas Joshi on wionews.com, as the conflict with Russia enters its second year, Ukraine is preparing to significantly increase its defense budget. On September 15, the Ukrainian government approved a draft budget for the year 2024, relying on ongoing financial support from Western nations to cover the anticipated budget shortfall. Since the outset of the conflict, Ukraine has received nearly $62 billion in foreign aid from Western countries, and Ukraine's Foreign Minister, Serhiy Marchenko, expressed hope for continued Western assistance.

According to an article by CBC on September 17, 2023, Canada's Defence Minister Bill Blair announced a financial commitment of CA$33 million (US$24.42 million) to support the acquisition of high-priority air defence equipment for Ukraine, including the procurement of hundreds of short and medium-range air defence missiles and related systems.

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