A video tweeted by The kyiv Independent showing the Ukrainian army with an M777 howitzer has sparked interest on the internet after a reporter said the artillery would be used to turn “a bad Russian into a good one”.
M77 howitzer field artillery pieces are being donated to Ukraine by Western allies to target the invading Russian forces. The United States, Australia and Canada are providing the additional firepower.
Independent of kyiv journalist Oleksiy Sorokin tweeted the video of soldiers surrounding one of the cannons.
“The Russians are about to be introduced to the M777 howitzer, kindly donated by the United States, Canada and Australia to transform a bad ‘common Russian’ into a good one,” Sorokin wrote.
The M777 howitzer is a towed gun weapon that “provides timely, accurate and continuous firepower,” according to Military.com. The M777 model has a maximum range of 15 miles and requires a crew of eight to 10 people to operate it.
The times London reported on Monday that Ukrainian forces were already shelling Russian positions with M777s, saying experts believe the side that can fight with artillery and drones most effectively in Donbas will have the upper hand.
A senior US Department of Defense (DoD) official said that 85 of the promised 95 howitzers were delivered to Ukraine along with 110,000 rounds of ammunition, adding that
Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers have been trained to use, maintain and repair the howitzers, with another 50 soldiers in training at the moment.
“The howitzers are being used specifically in combat, and I don’t know how many, and I don’t know where, but they are being used,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said during a briefing on Friday.
“What we are hearing from the Ukrainians, they [howitzers] they’re very helpful and they’re appreciative of them and they’re having an impact because they add to their own artillery pieces,” Kirby continued.
Kirby acknowledged that servicing of artillery weapons would be likely, adding that the US has included spare parts in shipments and that training courses will likely become “an ongoing requirement.”
“We’re going to keep an open mind here, and if there’s a need for additional training, if there’s a need for other systems that might need some maintenance support, to include the supply of spare parts, because we can’t expect the Ukrainians to they’re necessarily going to have old replacement parts for these things, so we’re going to do that,” Kirby said.
news week contacted the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian Armed Forces for comment.