A video published on Ukrainian military media on Thursday showed Russian reserve troops unboxing Thompson submachine guns, an iconic but long-obsolete firearm dating back to the 1930s.
Images released by the Ukraine-based information platform WarLive identified soldiers in the video as service members from the Luhansk People’s Republic, an unrecognized statelet occupied by Russian troops during the Kremlin’s first invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
State of the Russian army. The Russian Ministry of Defense has sent a weapons batch to mobilized in the Luhansk region. Weapons such as PPS submachine guns, PPSh-41, SKS Karabin and other pre-WW2 weaponry can be seen🙄 pic.twitter.com/wjLsX928yE— NOELREPORTS 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) July 13, 2023
A soldier checks weapon actions and appears to find it functional. The unit appears to be at a base far behind the fighting lines. Some soldiers wear flip flops and others wear shorts.
Weapons dating back to the mid-20th century also visible in the video are the Red Army PPSh “Shpagin” submachine gun, and the Sudaev machine pistol, and the World War II-fielded RPD machine gun.
Other possible museum pieces inspected in the video were the Vietnam-era AKS Kalashnikov automatic rifle, the advanced-for-its-time SVT 1930s-developed combat rifle, the World War II-fielded RPD machine gun, and a World War I-era Mossin-Nagant bolt-action rifle, with bayonet.
Comments one soldier: “Friggen amazing.”
Russia in its now 16-month-old war with Ukraine has found arming troops increasingly difficult due to high casualties and limited stocks. The Kremlin has attempted to fill the gap with mothballed weapons like the T-55 and T-62 tanks, combat vehicles several generations older than and grossly inferior to modern tanks now being delivered to Ukraine.
Referring a recent US decision to give Kyiv’s forces a 4.5 million shell reserve of modern and highly lethal cluster munitions for NATO-standard artillery fielded by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the pro-Ukraine post comments: “This is exactly what you need to combat cluster munitions.”
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